The ability to effectively communicate on a consistent basis is vital to one’s progress and success. Without effective communication, you will find yourself at a disadvantage in maneuvering through the pathway towards controlling your desired outcomes.
If you want to improve your communication skills for clarity and effectiveness, here are some useful suggestions for you to follow:
- Listen Carefully
This is one that we all struggle with in both our personal and professional lives. Understand what the other person is saying and feeling. Pay attention, be patient with them and do not interrupt. It is not only rude to cut someone off, but it makes it difficult to truly understand what they are saying. Wait to provide your feedback until they are finished.
- Body Language
Often, we don’t realize the significance of our body language. After all, actions speak louder than words. Your facial expressions, eye contact and gestures reveal everything, even though you do not utter a single word.
Exercise to improve your posture. Stand straight and smile to stimulate positive feelings. Always maintain eye contact when talking to someone. Use open body gestures. Be aware of your facial expressions and your tone of voice. It may be helpful to educate yourself about different non-verbal communication signals in different cultures and societies. For example, the handshake is considered rude in some countries, whereas is it a common practice in the United States.
- Read and Write
Improve your verbal communication by reading and writing as much as possible. Read books, the newspaper, blogs or anything you want to boost your vocabulary and improve your writing skills. The more quality information that you are exposed to, the better. Writing journals focused on personal or business goals is a powerful source for gaining insights that lead to success.
- Ask Questions
Asking questions helps clarify things for all concerned. It shows that you are interested in having a real conversation by keeping them engaged. The importance of asking questions which assist all parties in gaining a solid understanding of the message cannot be understated.
- Join a Toastmasters Chapter
The ability to communicate clearly, concisely and coherently does not come naturally to most people. To be able to attain the ability to be a standout communicator the key is to learn how to maximize your opportunities to speak in front of groups. Toastmasters avails you the chance to be surrounded by others following your same path. From beginners to highly skilled speakers the exposure to truly caring and knowledgeable members will pay huge dividends in your personal and professional life.