Five tips to help improve your communication skills
Effective communication is the pillar of every successful relationship. From our professional to social and even personal lives, communication plays a vital role in determining the quality of the relationship we form with the people we interact with.
Knowing how to effectively communicate your thoughts and ideas can be a great asset especially in the work environment, therefore it is a very essential skill you need to develop. Here are 5 tips to help improve your communication skills.
Show respect and appreciation
A key aspect of effective communication is a show of respect and appreciation for the ideas of whomever you are interacting with. People are more likely to open up to you when they know you respect and appreciate their perspective on issues. That level of sincerity is bound to have an impact on the quality of the conversations you have with people and relationships in general.
Be brief and specific
Simply put “do not beat around the bush”. It is very important to be clear and direct whenever you are communicating with people either verbally or in written form. It doesn’t help to focus heavily on unrelated issues whilst the substantive topic is yet to be discussed.
Being brief and specific also demonstrates a sense of respect for the time of others and also helps you to command the full attention of others whenever you are about to speak.
Listen and pay attention
Communication is a two way street, therefore it is very necessary to be mindful of the other party you are communicating with. Listening attentively to what they are saying is equally as important as you getting your points across. Listening not only helps you get a better understanding of what is being discussed, it also makes the other party know they have got your undivided attention.
Try to stay off anything that will distract you such as mobile phones and other gadgets when engaged in an important discussion, this will make it easier for you to solely focus on the interaction you are having.
Questions are one of the key elements of effective communication. Asking the right questions will help open up your conversations and make them very insightful and informative. Seeking clarification also helps the people you are interacting with to know you are actually interested in what they are saying, and that they are not wasting their time interacting with you.
Having a fair bit of knowledge about a topic automatically increases your ability to communicate when that topic is on the discussion table, therefore it is very important to build your mental capacity and knowledge base.
Try to read wide and not limit yourself to your field of endeavor, as this will help broaden your mind and give you a wider perspective on issues. The more you read, the better equipped you are to articulate your thoughts and ideas in an efficient manner.
Learning to effectively communicate will massively improve your personal and professional relationships, so make it a habit to constantly work on developing your communication skills by following the points listed above as well as researching other materials on developing this essential skill.