The world we live in today is an extremely fast moving world. travelling, technological advances, enormous money transactions etc. The list in itself is endless. The world, as we know it today is moving at the rate of knots. It is evident, that one factor binds the world together, keeping it in one piece i.e., Communication, yes! It is communication and the very use of communication that helps us do whatever we need to do in today’s world.
If you wish to improve your communication skills then the list that follows is just what you need to thaw the ice:
10. Be a good listener
Listening is an extremely important part of the communication process. The best way to become a good communicator is to enhance your listening skills, thus making you a good receiver that prepares you to react in any communication process. Most people sadly don’t realize the significance of listening while communicating. Imagine if you are talking to some of your friends and they aren’t listening to you properly. It is but obvious that you wouldn’t quite enjoy them not listening. The best communicators are always the best listeners. In any process while you’re communicating, being a good listener helps you to respond well with the person you’re communicating. While communicating, listening carefully to what the person talking to you is saying keeps that particular person in good regards about you too. It will not only help you respond effectively, but will also give you ideas that you could use in different conversations you might find yourself in.
9. Learn to build good rapport
Communication is at its best when it’s a two way process. When, in communication with your friends or colleagues, learn to improve on your rapport with them. It could be appreciating them for their successes, or praising their good work. Communicating has a lot to do with give and take. It’s just like giving gifts, and receiving gifts. So how does one build rapport on a general basis? Ever thought of giving something little of yourself away? Probably a secret? Try it and see how it works! Tell the person a secret about yourself, thus keeping him in high regard. In that way, you’re establishing a connection between you and your partner in conversation, thus bringing you on the same page for the exchange of ideas.
8. Connect well:
This little skill comes well when you have to communicate with a total stranger for the first time. Being able to connect well is an extremely important part of being an effective communicator. Lock horns with the person you’re communicating on a more basic and personal level. Talk about common interests between the two. If he/she likes the restaurants in the city, talk about them. You love football? The person you’re intending to communicate with loves football too? GREAT! You have a common base or a common interest that you could use to string a conversation to bring him/her into your comfort zone! Establishing a good connection is important so as to see a smooth communication process. You want people to be at ease when you’re communicating with them. You may not be all that nervous about meeting new people and interacting with them, but the people whom you meet might feel a sense of anxiety and nervousness. Connect well, and make them feel at ease. The best way to communicate with a person is to bring him in your comfort zone, thus enabling the free flow of ideas that is absolutely crucial for a two-way communication process. Establishing a good communication can be done over a cup of coffee too. Look forward to a good environment to strike a conversation, a place that will make the person feel at ease. It is no surprise why people meet over coffee usually. It helps in the communication process, and instinctively sets about into creating a good connection between two communicators. So bring the person on the same page as you are. Get on the same platform, and you shall be able to communicate well.
7. Make good eye-contact:
You can be standing at the podium, delivering a speech to hundreds of people or you could be sitting with a friend at the coffee shop conversing with him. Be it the former or the latter, if you are communicating, you will need to make good eye-contact. This is one aspect of communication that most people either avoid, or aren’t aware of. Making good eye-contact will give you the perfect sense of how well your message is being communicated. It’s a two-way link, eye-contact given and eye-contact received. Studies suggest that women are much better at making eye-contact than men during conversations. Let me tell you why it’s important to make significant eye-contact while communicating. Imagine you are seated with your colleague at the desk, talking to him. You are constantly conversing with him and making superb eye-contact. In the process, you are being perceived as being dominant and powerful, warm and personable, attractive and likeable, trustworthy and sincere, confident and emotionally stable depending on the type of conversation you’re holding. Making good eye-contact with your converser is a way of making him feel part of your immediate interests in surroundings, and doesn’t make him feel unwanted. Making good eye-contact certainly will improve the quality of the interaction, giving it a very smooth run through. Even if you aren’t the person talking, and instead you are at the receiving end of the conversation, make it a point to keep good eye-contact then too. This helps the person conversing with you to be assured that his thoughts and ideas are being met by you. So learn to gaze in the eyes of your converser from time to time, and make sure not to just stare past him ahead. Remember, our eyes were made to connect.
6. Make sure you’re understood:
That’s right! Always make sure you’re being understood while you are communicating. Now you might be communicating by talking to a person directly, or you might be writing down something for them to read. It could be any way of communication. All that one needs to do is make sure he is being understood. In a classroom, if the teacher isn’t being understood by the students, then there isn’t any point in what the teachers are trying to do. If you are communicating with your colleague and you aren’t being understood in the first place itself, there is absolutely no point to the conversation that you’re engaging in. The best way to get your ideas across while communicating is to keep it simple. You needn’t use big and complicated words, or you needn’t beat around the bush. Be extremely direct and to the point. Make it extremely easy for the person to understand what you are trying to communicate and what you wish to receive from him or her. Every good communication process is a two way process. You send across your ideas and you receive a response. If you aren’t understood in the first place, you wouldn’t receive the desired response that’s needed for smooth communication. So keep it simple while communicating and be straight-forward. Everybody loves a simple and straight individual!
5. Use your body, emotions well:
Ever seen those robots speak in movies? No expressions, no hand movements, nothing. How awfully boring can that be; is what you might be thinking right now. Now imagine you were in the shoes of the robot, communicating like a robot. The person you are communicating with wouldn’t be given any sort of substance to show some interest. He would become bored to death, and feel like he’s living amongst robots alike! While talking, learn to modulate your voice from time to time. Surely, you wouldn’t want to speak in one monotonous tone. Smile occasionally, breathe a sigh of relief, and narrow your eyes in constant supervision. While speaking to a large crowd on stage, use hand gestures and stage movements. Body language is an important part of you while you are communicating, as it adds so much more to what you’re trying to convey. You surely cannot get across happy news without any happy emotions, can you? A robot can, but that would take away all the meaning from the joyous moments.
4. Perfect language skills
Communication is done in so many languages these days. English, German, Italian, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Arabic etc. If I sit down to list every language, you might probably never finish reading this article. It goes without saying that more often than not, two people communicate using the same language. If you wish to talk to somebody in English, then you must come to proper grips with English. Nobody likes to communicate with someone who doesn’t know a certain language properly. It just wouldn’t bring them on the same page. It is but obvious to strike good interest with the person you’re communicating with in order to have a good exchange of ideas. Interest is completely lost in the person you’re talking too if you aren’t too well-versed with the language you’re using to communicate, unless that particular person doesn’t mind which is a totally different scenario all-together. So sharpen your language skills. It is something that shall always help in your communication endeavors.
3. Read, learn and talk:
Look around at all the amazing communicators that are constantly communicating here and there. You will notice something common in all of them. They are avid readers in their respective languages, they learn as they go along and they are constantly talking. Talk and talk and talk and talk. That’s how they improve their communication. To be a good converser, one must make reading a real habit. Reading widens your vocabulary without a doubt, thus giving you a broader shelf to use during communication. Reading in a particular language also helps you develop your understanding about that certain language that certainly will help in communicating. So read more, and communicate more.
2. Enter Confidence, Exit Shyness:
If you want to be a good communicator, then you must be confident about yourself. Being shy will never help you, as getting out into the real world and experiencing different aspects of life is really important. A shy individual finds it difficult to get amongst others who are communicating, and thus makes it harder for him to join any communication activity. Communication is all about expressing your ideas to people and if you are shy as a person, then you will have absolutely no way of even communicating whatever you wish to communicate. Come out of your shell, and express yourself. It might not be at all easy, but the first step is always the hardest. Learn from people who communicate so well in today’s world. You will notice one thing about all of them, and that is that each one of them isn’t shy by nature. They are very outgoing and forward spoken as far as interacting is concerned. Build a good level of confidence that shall help you each time you converse.
1. Knowledge is GOLD:
So, you may be very good at communicating and might be having all the skills required to become a good communicator. What if, you don’t know what to communicate? It is absolutely right that one does need a good and knowledgeable mind to know what to communicate and when. However, it is also important for anybody for that matter to be aware of the surroundings around him. This will not only improve yourself in any communication process, but it will also help you take control of any conversation that you’re engaged in. Imagine if you come across your colleague who’s talking about something you are totally unaware of. Whatever he says, will go totally over your head, hence making nothing of an attempted conversation strike. Thus having good knowledge is important as it helps you and your conversing partners get on the same page. Remember, same page, like immediate surroundings? Common interests? Exactly, if you and your partner are talking about, say, the football games that took place over the weekend, then the two of you will require adequate idea about the football games in order to strike a fruitful conversation. Be aware of whatever is around you and always remember a knowledgeable person is the best communicator.
So what are you waiting for? The world needs more and more good communicators! Are you up for the challenge?