How many times have you been talking to someone and they just completely shut down? Or maybe you’ve had someone try to communicate with you and you felt frustrated at how little or no progress was being made?
Communication skills should be practised throughout our lives and not just in school or college. I’m going to share some tips on communication skills that I’ve learned throughout my career.
I want to start off by saying that communication is often overlooked in business, even though it’s something we use everyday. It’s probably because people think communication is only used in personal relationships, but it’s actually used in any situation where two or more people need to interact. In business, especially marketing, people spend lots of time trying to get their point across to the consumer. And then on top of that, they sometimes end up having a bad experience because the person on the other side isn’t listening. So what do you do if you’re a marketer who wants to sell products and services to consumers? How can you get them to listen? How can you make sure they understand exactly what you mean? Let me give you 5 tips on communication skills in order to help you accomplish these goals.
Tip 1 – Be Present
Sometimes we forget about the importance of showing interest in others. When you communicate with people, you should always show interest in what they’re saying. If you do that, they’ll feel comfortable enough to open up and talk to you. As a salesperson, I’ve seen countless examples of people ignoring customers. You may be sitting there waiting for someone to respond after you ask a question or tell them something, and they ignore you and look away. Don’t ever let that happen! Showing interest in what someone says is the first step toward communicating effectively. Remember, people don’t generally care how much money you earn or what kind of car you drive. If you show them that you really want to hear what they have to say, they’ll be more likely to continue talking with you.
Tip 2 – Listen First
When you’re talking to someone, it’s important to listen first before you speak. A lot of us tend to assume that since we know what we want to say already, we should go ahead and start speaking right away. But if you want to be effective at communicating, you’ll want to find out what the other person is thinking or feeling before you jump in and start talking. By doing that, you’ll avoid making mistakes and wasting everyone’s time.
Tip 3 – Ask Questions Before Making Statements
It seems like one of the most basic things to remember, but it’s surprisingly rare to see people asking questions before they make statements. People love to talk, and once they start telling a story, they won’t stop until they finish it. If you want to learn anything, you have to ask questions first, and then you can move
Why is Communication Skills important?
Communication skills are extremely important in any business or career field whether they are customer service or sales. If you do not have good communication skills you will be unable to effectively communicate what you know to customers, clients, co-workers, etcetera. You will find yourself at a disadvantage if you cannot effectively communicate with others. Here are some tips on how to improve your communication skills.
1. Listen First
If you want to learn something first listen to it. When someone communicates information to us we often take those messages out of context and use our own interpretation of them rather than just listening to the actual message. To get a better understanding of what he/she is saying look for clues like body language or tone of voice. By learning to understand what they mean without interpreting everything first you will be able to make more effective decisions.
2. Ask Questions
Sometimes people will tell us things that are untrue. Try asking questions to clarify their statements. For example, if a coworker says that she was fired try clarifying if it was her decision, was she threatened, was she told that you were going to fire her etc. By asking these questions you are giving the person who said it an opportunity to explain themselves further. Be mindful though that you don’t ask too many questions and overwhelm the other person.
3. Show Respect
People are more likely to respect you if you show respect to them. Do not talk down to them. Use “you” when referring to people instead of “he” or “she”. Give compliments to others on their performance. People love to feel appreciated so even if you think they aren’t doing great make sure you let them know.
4. Take Responsibility
When you feel confused about something or need help follow up on it immediately. Don’t wait to have time to mull over the issue before making a move. Also, be honest and open with others. Let them know if you’re having trouble communicating with them or if you feel intimidated. They may not realize that until you tell them.
Types of Communication Skills
1. Active Listening
Active listening involves the use of verbal communication skills. Your goal with active listening is to understand what the other person is saying without interrupting or providing any information of your own. Active listening is one of the best techniques for building trust between two people. You must take note of non-verbal cues and body language to ensure that you are truly listening. A good way to practice active listening is to ask open ended questions. These are questions that do not have direct answers. An example would be, “What do you think about ________?” Follow up the question with a statement like, “I agree with that, I think we should consider doing _____.”
Assertiveness is a skill used in everyday situations where someone believes they have been wronged and wants to make their point known. Assertive individuals believe that they know how things work and aren’t afraid to speak out when they feel a situation is unfair. Using assertiveness can be difficult if you don’t understand the rules of the game. If you want to become more assertive you need to learn how to stay calm while communicating effectively. To improve your assertive skills, try practicing these tips:
- a) Avoid using sarcasm or passive aggressive humor.
- b) Practice calming yourself down before speaking.
- c) Focus on your strengths instead of weaknesses.
- d) When speaking, think about the words you say and how those words affect others. Avoid using hurtful words.
- e) Make sure that you have all the facts before making decisions.
- f) Find out who really holds power in the situation.
- g) Don’t let anyone intimidate you. Stand up for yourself!
- h) Use positive reinforcement when working with others.
- i) Learn how to say no.
The easiest way to improve Communication Skills 2023
- Talking about yourself
Talking about yourself is simple if you have something special to share. You want to demonstrate to them that you’re unique, so try to think outside the box. Try talking about what makes you different, and how they can benefit from knowing you. Your goal is not to bore them…rather, you want to connect with people. You’ll find that your conversations become much stronger when you know who you’re talking to.
2. Listening skills
To listen well means listening to someone’s viewpoint before responding. In real-time situations, you may feel that the listener is wasting time when he responds after hearing only half of what you said. That’s okay! You don’t need to say anything right away. Let them finish their thought first! If you do interrupt, simply thank them for sharing their thoughts.
3. Expressing feelings
A good listener has the ability to express his emotions to others without being direct. He knows that the best way to convey emotions is through body language and tone of voice. He can read between the lines of the conversation. A good listener does not force his opinion upon others. If he wants to know what you think, he asks you directly.
4. Telling stories
Stories open your mind and heart to the world around you. When we tell our own personal story, we understand ourselves better and relate to others. Remember to tell your story in a manner that opens and closes with words that create an experience. As you speak, let your eyes show where you are going. Speak slowly and clearly.
5. Giving compliments
The easiest way to make a friend is to give him a compliment. You get to know someone better when you genuinely appreciate their qualities. Complimenting someone lets her know she’s doing a good job. And if you’re able to offer sincere praise, it shows your respect for her. When you compliment someone, use words that show appreciation and focus on specific details. For example, “You look really pretty today.” Or, “I love seeing you work so hard at school.” Be specific. You can also compliment someone’s appearance, intelligence, or personality.
6. Showing gratitude
We tend to notice those things that we lack, and that’s especially true when we receive help. We tend to forget to show gratitude. If someone gives us a gift, send a text or email to thank them. If you’re asked for favors, don’t take it for granted. Make sure you give thanks before you leave.
7. Being polite
Being polite is an art that takes practice and constant effort. Even though we might not expect it, courtesy is an act of kindness that helps everyone. Polite manners are always appreciated. Remember to ask permission when you approach someone. Use proper forms of address. Always remove your hat when entering a home. Don’t assume that your house is yours, even if its obvious that you live there. Clean up after yourself.
Find out more