There are so many obstacles and barriers that prevent our communication being effective.
Think of communication as a continual cycle of sending and receiving information. The area in the centre of the cycle is where the barriers or ‘noise’ can happen. This ‘noise’ can include things such as different views, accents, discomfort or personality conflicts.
It’s important to remember that ‘people like people who are like them’!
Understanding that there is a range of personality types helps explain why you get along with some people better than others. And why there are people that you ‘just don’t get’!
Remember also that it only takes a few subtle changes to become more like other types. And it’s usually worth the effort when the end results are so positive.
If you’re looking to enhance your communication, consider the quality of your questions.
This can be a powerful technique.
Cultivate the habit of using open questions.
Those starting with what, why, when, where, who and how.
Rather than closed questions such as will, do, is and which.
Asking open questions can help you learn more information and hopefully assist in your career progression.
The messages you send by what you don’t say are far more important than what you do!
Learn to ‘match’ and ‘mirror’ other people – particularly their non-verbal communication.
This skill alone can improve the positive impact of your communication in a dramatic way.
Learn ‘active’ listening skills.
One of the traits of all good communicators is their ability to focus on the messages of others. For many people, listening is what they do while waiting for their turn to speak again.
Compare this to ‘active’ listeners who give full concentration. Listening but also understanding and comprehending what the message is.
Make sure that your intonation supports your communication.
The way that you use your voice can convey very different messages.
An upward inflexion implies a question.
A neutral one implies a statement.
A downward inflexion implies a command.
It’s also worth remembering that your intonation can be hard to read through online messages such as texts and emails. Be mindful of that whilst you compose them.
Providing feedback to some individuals can often be difficult and challenging.
Remember to always be specific. Think about the timing of your comments.
Be considerate in your manner and only provide feedback which is helpful and of value on some level.
These thoughts on Communication Skills are provided in no particular order but are all important to enhancing your communication with other people. Many of them may appear to be common sense, however, that does not mean they are common practice.
To stand out for all the right reasons, apply these tips consistently in order to improve your communication skills.