One of the essential soft skills you can develop today, whether you are looking for a job position or trying to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships, is knowing how to communicate effectively. Strong communication skills define a person's ability to interact qualitatively with other people, express their thoughts in an accessible way and correctly interpret the received information.
Verbal and nonverbal communication techniques and methods are equally essential to develop in order to achieve effective communication and lower the possibility of misunderstandings.
You can find some express tips and tricks at wealthygorilla.com, but keep reading this article to figure out what it takes to join the ranks of effective communicators and which acquired habits should become your priority to succeed.
Be an Active Listener
One of the core fundamentals of effective communication is the ability to listen to what others have to say and actually hear the other members of the conversation. Active listening is not limited to just nodding your head knowingly and pondering your response while they speak.
The paraphrasing technique is one of the most effective ways to improve listening skills. Repeat the other person's remark in your own words and ask if you understood everything correctly. It will show that you are paying attention to the speaker and create the impression that you are on the same wavelength as they are.
It is crucial not to overdo it and not to start finishing phrases for others. First of all, it will indicate your impatience, not strong communication skills. Secondly, your prediction may mismatch the speaker's intention, and that will only make the conversation awkward. It would be better just to let the person collect their thoughts and find the right words themselves.
Maintain Eye Contact
It is one of the most persuasive nonverbal signals that will allow you to establish good communication in your workplace, both private and business-related conversations, as well as speaking in front of an audience. It would be helpful to make eye contact with particular members of the conversation when you are addressing them.
Avoiding eye contact may be considered a lack of self-consciousness or being insincere. Conversely, people tend to believe those who look into the eyes more. Still, it is important to know when to stop, as people may deem a too long look a sign of aggressive and or demanding attitude. A couple of seconds (literally) will be enough.
Manage the Attention
If you are the speaker, help the audience keep focused on your words. For example, try changing the intonation and diluting the narrative with questions - even those that do not require an answer, as the main point is to activate the audience's attention. Another useful technique is to give examples related to the person - it will make them feel more involved in what you are saying.
Do not neglect using the storytelling method - actually, an art - to improve communication skills and convey information more emotionally and personally. First of all, storytelling will allow you to develop your message so everybody will understand without cluttering it with invaluable details. Secondly, those techniques enable you to be consistent, avoid ambiguity, present information systematically, and stay interesting simultaneously.
Read More Books
This point is indeed obvious, but it is essential to understand that just reading books is not enough to develop your communication and interpersonal skills. Any knowledge becomes valuable and useful only when you start applying it to real-world situations. So make sure you stick to critical and active reading strategies.
It does not mean you should switch to non-fiction only. It implies to start extracting from the text anything that you deem necessary for verbal communication with others and understanding their body language, intentions, and other nonverbal, emotional signals.
You can start with simple things like writing out unfamiliar words and phrases to expand your vocabulary. It will positively and beneficially affect your verbal communication skills, but only when you start using them in practice.
Then move to retell what you have just read - to your friends or yourself out loud. It will allow you to structure the information better, making it easier to understand, analyze, and determine its relevance for your communication needs.
Like any other skill, effective communication requires training and practice, not only theoretical understanding. If you want to improve the communication processes you are involved in, ensure you allocate some time to train active listening and reading and identify emotional signals.
Do not miss the opportunity to participate in a conversation to try out body language elements and use your skills to read other people's nonverbal cues. Remember that reflection is a necessary tool to evaluate the relevance of what you are about to say and your communication skills in general.
A critical look at your own opinion, responsibility for your own words, and willingness to hear others are confident steps towards successfully developing strong communication skills!
WRITTEN BYClara Rose