The month of June is Effective Communications Month! This month is dedicated to the importance of using effective communication skills to enhance your personal and professional development. Whether you are speaking at a job interview, staff meeting or telling a story to your friends, using good communication skills will help you achieve both personal and professional success. Continue reading for 5 simple tips that will help you improve your communication style!
Listen. Being a good listener is one of the best ways to be an effective communicator. Pay close attention to what the other person is saying, and ask clarifying questions (“So, what you’re saying is…”). It’s not only important to listen, but also to let the speaker know that you’re listening.
Don’t show negative body language. In a face-to-face conversation, it’s important to make eye contact, show interest, and don’t become distracted. Be sure to avoid any physical barriers between you and the other person. Phone calls, text messages and other communications that rely on technology are often less effective than regular face-to-face communication.
Don’t interrupt the other person. Nobody likes to be interrupted, as it hampers the thought process and can be perceived as disrespectful. Instead, wait until the other person is done speaking. If you need to make an interruption and it’s necessary for you to do so, gently cut-in and apologize for the interruption.
Be confident in what you’re saying. Confidence shows people that you believe in what you’re saying and will follow through. Radiating confidence can be as simple as making eye contact or using a well-founded but friendly tone. As always, it’s important to avoid sounding arrogant or aggressive.
Be open to receiving feedback. The ability to give and receive feedback is one of the most important skills of a successful communicator. As a receiver of feedback, make sure you listen, ask questions, and make efforts to implement the suggestions. Conversely, if you are the one providing feedback, it’s important to keep it concise, encouraging and friendly.