Humans are very advanced social animals that need to communicate with each other frequently for the tiniest of tasks. Ever since we were children, we have been taught manners, and different rules when it comes to communicating with people around us. While general communication is learned easily while growing up through modeling others’ behaviour and learning from that, communication is a vast spectrum that can always be improved upon. Here is a short list of how to improve communication skills, that can help you communicate better.
How to Improve Communication Skills
Communication is not a one-way street. It usually involves one or more parties in the process. And if there is any information that is being passed down, there are high chances that there is information being received as well. It is therefore important to receive the given information well, which can be done by being a good listener. A good listener is someone who receives, understands, and applies the information given to them in the context of the conversation. It is equally important to listen and understand as it is to speak in a conversation. A person may come off as rude and ignorant if they only keep speaking without acknowledging the other person’s thoughts and feelings.
Adapt to Communication Styles
Communication is done in more ways than one. It comes in written and verbal forms of communication as well. It is important to understand your audience and change your style of communication accordingly. While doing some official government work, it is important to have it written in official letters and using a very professional language. It helps communicate the work better. This also applies to any official applications or letters. Whereas in a conversation with a friend, using slang, and casual and informal language is okay and also appreciated.
While communicating, one of the main goals is to convey your feelings and thoughts to the other person and convey them well. A simple approach to this is to be friendly. This tip works well while communicating with new people, making friends, and even delivering a speech. It is even more important to be friendly when you are talking to a subordinate or someone who is in a lower position than you. It makes you seem more approachable as a person. Being friendly also helps people relate to you better and enhances the communication channel.
Confidence is a must while speaking. It is one of the most basic skills that are essential for an individual to have. Confidence helps deliver your message with more efficiency. It also makes the person you are communicating with aware that you are sure about what you are saying and makes your message more impactful. A simple way to build confidence is by practicing in front of a mirror.
Give and Take Feedback
As mentioned earlier, communication is a two-way route, and cannot be done in the absence of another person or party. Hence, taking feedback from that other party becomes important as it helps you improve on any shortcomings. Similarly, it is equally important to provide the other person with constructive criticism if they are lacking in any way. It is also important that the criticism should be constructive and not something is done out of hatred. Hence, taking opinions and feedback from trustworthy people is necessary, as they will be honest while providing you with the truth. Feedback should also be taken in cases of written communication too.
While communicating, whatever your message might be, it should be conveyed efficiently to the people receiving it. Even in cases written and verbal, being clear in words is necessary. Apart from language, while speaking it is also necessary to enunciate properly and maintain a decent pace of words so your speech is understandable to the receiver. Heavy words should be avoided as much as possible so your conversation is accessible to everyone equally. While writing, if your piece is handwritten, it should be written well. Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes must be avoided as much as possible.
Understand Non-Verbal Cues
Communication is not just restricted to what we say or write. In other words, it is not just restricted to our words. It includes the way we present them and acts on them as well. Nonverbal gestures such as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact while speaking can alone convey a lot of things in themselves. Those paired with words can then convey a multitude of emotions. Hence, your facial expressions and body language should be on par with your words. For example, if you are congratulating someone with a sad or a disgusted face, that person will simply interpret that you are not happy for them, and draw false conclusions, even if your intentions were pure. Hence, non-verbal gestures are equally important in communication.
The secret behind acing anything is practicing it regularly. Communication is no exception to that. It is a skill that requires the presence of other people, so practicing talking with friends, having debates, giving mock speeches, etc. helps with improving these skills. Reading essays out loud and practicing in front of a mirror also enhances verbal communication. For written communication, reading model formal pieces of writing available on the internet will give you a decent idea about the structure of a letter. Reading regularly and efficiently can also help in increasing vocabulary, thus helping in efficient communication.
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How to Improve Communication Skills