Communication is a skill and like all skills it can be improved through practice. Here are a few techniques that can help improve interpersonal relationships and thus result in better business outcomes.
Improving Verbal Communication
Listening is the most crucial part of communication. If you are unable to grasp what the other person is saying then you cannot effectively and accurately process the information and respond in a timely manner. It’s important to listen carefully to the other person and ask for clarifications before formulating a response. Listening is not just limited to hearing, it includes non-verbal communication as well.
Always take notes during meetings and do not rely solely on your memory. In case you need to clarify things, send a follow-up email.
Always pause and think before you speak. Do not say the first thing that comes to your mind. Take a moment and pay close attention to what you say and how you say it. No matter how difficult the situation is, maintain a positive attitude and keep a smile on your face. Do not patronize or be rude.
Observe how communication happens in your work environment, and pay attention to which aspects are positive and negative. Then observe how you conduct yourself. Observe:
Contextualize the content of your verbal communications. Know what you want to say and back it up with facts. This will make you appear more professional, knowledgeable and decisive.
This is important for face-to-face meetings and video conferencing. The eye-contact, open/closed posture, hand movement convey a lot of information. While talking to people, have an open body language. Use eye contact intelligently. Keep eye contact while listening and speaking so that other people know that you are paying attention. Try to stay calm during stressful situations and keep your emotions under control. Do not cross your arms during conversation.
Using acronyms and informal language like “Hey”, “TTYL” in formal communication, official e-mail or text, is not acceptable. While drafting keep the following points in mind:
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