Communicating should be easy, we speak and everything else should naturally follow and fall into place, but we know it is more complicated than that. Have you ever struggled to get your point across? Are you unsure how to handle certain conversations? Worried you may offend so don’t end up saying much at all? These are concerns we all have. Communication is an essential part of our day to day lives and effective communication is vital for us to be able to do our jobs well.
Here are 5 tips to become a better communicator:
1. Active listening
Simply listening is only part of it, it’s what you are able to do with what you’ve heard that will make the big difference. Be engaged, and acknowledge what they’re saying. Make eye contact and watch your body language. Sitting slumped with little eye contact doesn’t show someone who’s engaged. In short, be present, be 100% present and you’ll be great!
2. Encourage people to talk about themselves
Ineffective communicators only talk about themselves, and we all do it! Why? We love talking about ourselves because it makes us feel good., but some people need to be encouraged to talk about themselves. Use open questions that start with ‘What’, ‘Why’ or ‘How’ to help them share their thoughts. When they do, they will be more engaged with the conversation.
3. Use their name
To quote Dale Carnegie, author of, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” When we remember someone’s name and include it when we are speaking to them, it makes them feel valued, you’ve made the effort to get to know them! We like to hear our name, it shows interest and when someone uses our name, we feel special and noticed.
4. Make them feel important
A genuine compliment on someone’s work or their ideas also helps them feel special. It makes them feel that you’ve taken the time to notice them and what they do and this gives them a boost of confidence. Be honest with your compliments and asking for advice are simple ways to do this, it will show you truly value their opinion.
5. Focus on your similarities
It is widely known that we like people like us. People like to feel that they’re with others that share the same interests and ideas. It helps build a bridge between one person and another, and when you have this bridge, you build rapport. Find common ground, things you would enjoy and then it is an interesting conversation for both parties.