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Communication is the essence of life. The ability to communicate well is an important life skill that one must excel. Irrespective of who you are and what you do, having command over this life skill will make your personality charismatic and distinguished. It will keep you head and shoulder above others.
But what communication is really about?
Well, communication is all about transferring information from one person to another in any form possible.
It’s an act of expressing one’s thoughts, ideas, and views to others effectively. Also, it includes listening and understanding the experiences and expressions of other person. So, how nifty your communication skills are, that’s where the challenge lies.
Everyone of us at least know one such person whose every word sounds just so charming. There are people that we love to listen to admire for their sheer talent of speaking captivatingly.
And how do these people express so enchantingly?
Why can’t we talk or express the way they do?
You wanna know, right?
Read on, you’ll find out.
Here, I have shared some handy ways to improve your communication skills.
Keep An Eye On Your Body Language
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You went to a party saying you love to socialize. But, at the party, you stand with your arms crossed, speak less, take no initiative, and barely make eye contacts.
Do you think that your body language goes well with what you said?
Did you seriously look like a social animal?
Your posture, facial expressions, gestures, and hand movements, all have a great impact on others. What you speak and what you pretend, both equally influence your listeners.
In fact, you’re constantly communicating even when you’re not talking. Eyes down, arms crossed, no smile, all show that you aren’t interested or comfortable while talking. An unfavourable body language creates a negative impact on the opposite party.
Your body language gives the first impression. And decides whether you’re a good communicator or not. So, maintain a strong body posture, stand straight, make eye contacts, take initiatives, and nod while listening.
Socialize Via Social Networking Websites
Raise your hands if you have an account in any of the social websites like- Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Oh! How stupid of me to ask this. That too today when there’s hardly anyone without a Facebook account.
So, it’s great if you have one. I know it’s addictive and has a few drawbacks, but it’s also beneficial.
Other than connecting people, these sites can also leverage your communication skills.
Here’s the answer
- share your and others’ post,
- write reviews, and
- comment on others’ post
Though the interaction is not face to face, you get to know –
- what people think about you,
- how many agree with you,
- Appreciate or disagree with your views & thoughts.
This way, social networking sites can be a great medium to connect, share, and know more about oneself and others. They help in giving you a confidence boost. Also, they hone your communication and self-expression skills.
Step Forward And Say ‘Hello!!!’
Do you always wait for others to start an interaction?
If you communicate with 10 people in a day, how many of the conversations are initiated by you?
- Half of them.
- 3-4 out of 10.
If you chose-
Number 1- you are doing great. Keep it up!
Number 2- you need to put in a few more efforts, and, then, I am sure you’ll do great.
Number 3- change this behaviour right away.
If you aren’t initiating the conversations, then you cannot be a good communicator. Nobody will appreciate such behavior. In fact, they’ll start keeping you at a distance. Find out why you should do so and learn to initiate a conversation.
Not only this, initiating a conversation makes you look more confident, interested, and easy-going.
Cut Out Conversational Placeholders
How often do you use um’s, ah’s, and uh’s?
Whether you know it or not, but these words give an impression that you’re clueless about what you’re talking. Removing them from your speaking style makes you look more confident and engaging.
Using placeholders hinder your way to becoming an effectual speaker. So, start working on your speaking skills. Remove these conversation killers from your speaking style.
Check out this video on- “How To Speak So That People Want To Listen.”
Speak With A Warm And Chummy Attitude
You’re sharing something important with your friend. And all he’s doing is –
- engrossed in his phone,
- barely looking at you, and
- going clueless whenever you’re asking for a suggestion.
How will you feel?
Will you still continue the conversation?
No, of course not.
And what if you’re doing this with anyone? Does that make you a good listener, supporter, or helper?
I know it’s a “No” again.
So, what to do then?
Yes, PAY ATTENTION to what others are saying and try helping them in any way possible. This will make you look kind. Also, you’ll get the same treatment, whenever you’ll need it.
To know “how”- check out these suggestions.
When in conversation,
- try repeating their last words to show interest,
- make them comfortable,
- avoid using a phone while talking as it looks annoying and insulting,
- be humble, and
- have a positive body language.
It is important as it helps you to-
- understand the other person in a better way,
- increase other person’s interest in you.
- motivate them to keep the conversation going.
Keep Your Cool And Listen!
Believe it or not but when you listen more, people love to communicate with you. So, no matter how tantalized you are to talk about yourself, make it a point to listen to others as well.
Listening is vital to become a good communicator. The more you listen, the more you learn. And more efficiently you can convey your thoughts and views to others.
Listening enables you to understand the speaker well. See this video to learn- “How You Can Listen Better.”
Have a Good Command Over Language
How confident you are with the language you speak makes a difference too.
Having a good command over the language does affect your communication skills.
What if you have to talk in Japanese, Chinese or any other such language?
Unless you know that language, you won’t be able to communicate well (irrespective of the topic).
So, make sure you have a good command over the language because the more confident you are with the language, the more stimulating your communication would be.
Having good hold over the language makes you more confident, active, productive, and clear.
Stop Being A Cold-hearted Soul
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When was the last time you had a heart-warming conversation with someone?
What made you think so?
How did you feel when instead of consoling, someone understood your feelings and words exactly as you wanted?
Wasn’t that a great feeling?
It was indeed. Right?
Empathy is what is more meaningful than sympathy.
So to be a good communicator, try to empathize with others. It’s true that you cannot do it with everyone, but always try to look at the situation from other’s perspective. And, it is critical to have exceptional communication skills.
Who Is Your Greatest Enemy? Pessimism
Time is a precious resource. So, if anyone is spending it on you, be thankful and considerate. Appreciate the attention that a person is showing you.
Being positive enhances the productivity of your communication. People tend to cut the conversation if they feel attacked or criticized. So, always focus on being constructive, kind, encouraging, and optimistic while communicating.
Understand this tip better with the following example-
Mr. A is very enthusiastic about his new gadget and couldn’t hold himself from sharing it with Mr. B and Mr. C.
Situation 1: He tells about his gadget exuberantly to Mr. B. Mr. B in return throws cold water on his excitement. He makes him (Mr. A) count about the flaws of that gadget and talks about it harshly and negatively.
Mr. A feels disheartened as he didn’t like the way Mr. B mortified him for his new gadget. He decides not to talk to Mr. B and leaves the conversation right away.
Whereas, in situation 2:
Mr. C talks to Mr. A kindly. He too talks about its shortcomings but only after mentioning its benefits. As a result, Mr. A takes the feedback more genuinely, positively, and feels better. Also, he shares his thoughts more profusely with Mr. C.
This is the reason that you should present your thoughts in kind and positive manners. As it has a considerable impact on the other person.
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Brush Up Your Speaking Tone
Being assertive or being aggressive. There lies a fine line between the two. And try not to cross it.
Though it is necessary to maintain an assertive tone, make sure it doesn’t become commanding. Having an appropriate speaking tone is pivotal.
Maintain an effective tone to communicate your ideas, thoughts, and feelings fruitfully. Be confident and direct, while still adopting a calm, cooperative tone.
Restate Thoughts & Statements
The ultimate desire of a speaker is that the listener should have an interest in whatever s/he is saying. So, to make your speaker feel so, paraphrasing is a great technique.
But how to use this technique?
Try repeating what the other person has just said and then share your thoughts on the topic. It will give you a better understanding of the thoughts and intentions of the other person. Also, it shows your interest in the conversation.
End the Conversation Gracefully
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Similar to beginning, ending a conversation is difficult too. Like if I talk about myself, I sometimes go clueless on how to end a conversation gracefully.
It is equally important to end the conversation on time. But along with time, make sure you do it without making the other person feel awkward.
Think of the ways to end conversations in the right way. For example, you can say that you need to refill your drink, catch up with another person at a party, get back to work, or you can promise to continue the conversation at a later time or date.
So, follow these tips and try inculcating them in your day to day life.
Remember that, “ You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca