Communication is something we should ALL strive to constantly improve upon. It affects our relationships at work with our co-workers, clients, and customers and at home with our family and friends. Really, it affects all of our encounters on a daily basis. It only seems prudent that this is a continuous area of improvement for each and every one of us with such a broad radius of what it can affect.
1. Communication Through Active Listening
One of the most crucial parts of being a good communicator is active listening. Did you know that active listening makes you a more effective communicator? Active listening simply put is listening with action, whether it be shaking your head in agreement or saying “Yes” after somebody makes a statement to acknowledge that you have heard them. These simple things keep you engaged in the conversation and make you a better communicator purely because you were being a better listener.
2. Observing Social Queues
Another thing you should consider when communicating is to observe social queues. If you are having a conversation with someone and for every question you ask you receive a one-word answer, there is typically a reason for that. First, identify if your questions are the problem. Are you are asking questions that only really warrant a one-word answer? If the answer is yes, then asking more open-ended questions may help. When the answer is no, then you may want to consider the audience and the subject matter. If you are on a business call and you seem to have a ten-minute speech for every five seconds someone else is speaking, you may want to adjust your business conversation style to theirs.
3. Initial Contact
Lastly, and typically the easiest to improve, you should follow the method of initial contact. If somebody sends you an email for example unless a call has specifically been requested or it is inconceivable that an email would suffice then you should respond back with an email. The same applies if a request has been made by a call. If you receive a voicemail you should answer back with a call unless an email has been subsequently sent. It’s as simple as follow the leader.
There are constantly ways we can improve communication with each other. It is and always should be a continuous learning process. It’s like anything else in life; some people get it and others don’t. If you don’t it’s just something that requires a little practice and a little extra effort.
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