Effective communication is acquired through practice and observation. What works and what could be improved? Every conversation, exchange, and interaction helps improve your interpersonal skills. Communication is, for the most part, an unavoidable and crucial part of each and every day, and harnessing effective communication skills will bring a sense of ease and comfort into every new situation. Use these tips in both professional and personal situations to improve your relationships and learn how to get what you want!
1. Be transparent. Be clear about what you are trying to say. Do not “beat around the bush.” Being obvious about your objective is often more appreciated and welcomed than tip-toeing around an issue and being unclear about your desired outcome.
2. Simplify. Be as concise as possible when presenting information. Choosing the most important and relevant points will make interactions less confusing and more fluid.
3. Be yourself. Use language that is comfortable and clear. Speaking clearly and slowly is important, but be sure to stay true to your own voice.
4. Listen. The most important part of communication is listening. While getting your own point across is an important part of any conversation, it is vital that you try to understand what the other person is saying and to take them seriously. Sometimes you might spend more time listening to others than speaking, but that is an equally useful part of any interaction.
5. Defense versus offense. Be careful not to be too defensive during a heated exchange, or be too aggressive. Jumping to the defense or offense right away shows that you may not be secure in your own opinions or thoughts, causing you to lash out unnecessarily. If you find yourself wanting to react immediately, take a step back, take a deep breath, and collect your thoughts. Approaching an argument with a clear mind shows how mature and calm you can be in a tough situation.
6. Consider the timing. Figure out the best time to approach certain topics. Some situations are best to address right away, while others are better to think through before bringing up.
7. Ask for feedback. Do not be afraid to ask for advice on how you can improve. Whether it be with a teacher, boss, sibling, parent, friend, or mentor, proactively asking for advice shows initiative.
How do you effectively communicate?