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How to be an effective communicator

 

Communication is an important skill to learn, whether you’re in public relations or finance. It’s vital to know how to get your point across without upsetting or offending someone else in the process. Being an effective communicator will take you far in life. You’ll need it to ace that interview and land your dream job or influence your employees.

Here are key ways to improve your communication skills in the workplace.

Listening skills

Lisa Kirk, an American actress, was quoted as saying, “A gossip is one who talks to you about others, a bore is one who talks to you about himself, and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself.” Listening is crucial to communication in the workplace. No one likes to speak to someone who dominates a conversation and thinks their opinions are the only ones that count. We’ve all had experiences with one-uppers, the people who always try to top your story. If your dog can do ten tricks, theirs can do 20. Listen to what others have to say and you’ll likely be able to see things from their perspective.The easiest way to be a great conversationalist is to enhance your listening skills and give your colleague your undivided attention.

Listening is a skill needed, whether you’re starting out as an intern or you’re the CEO of a major corporation.

Constructive criticism

Nobody likes to be criticised, but if it’s constructive it can help you. Criticism can go a long way into making you more productive, enhancing your skills and building your character. Be open to what others have to say and you’ll advance in the workplace. It’s important that when you make mistakes, you learn from them.

Presentation skills

At some point in time, we’ll all have to give a speech in public. It could be at a wedding or at work. And it’s a skill we should try to enhance. Some people are compelling speakers and others need tools to help them become better. Practice makes perfect. When you have to do a presentation at work, make sure you practice your speech in front of others at home first. If you fill your whole speech with um’s and ah’s and you fumble through your notes, it’ll come across as if you’re unprepared and lack confidence. And you may just find yourself wishing the ground would open up and swallow you because your presentation isn’t going as planned.

Respect

You may get into a disagreement with a colleague at some point but, even if you feel the other person is wrong, it’s important to remain respectful to create harmony in the workspace. For example, if you’re a leader and you’re rude and disrespectful to your employees, you’re not likely to influence or motivate them. Yelling and screaming at your employees will only humiliate them and make them less productive. Make sure that your tone is calm and you never raise your voice.

Remove distractions

When someone is talking to you, don’t fiddle with your phone or look around the room. The person you’re talking to could interpret your behaviour as rude. Your body language communicates a lot and may be sending a message you don’t want to convey. For example, if you talk with your head down or cross your arm or legs, you may be sending a message that you don’t want to be there.

Open mindedness

In order to be a great communicator, you have to be open to what others have to say. If you’re not open to listening to what the other person has to say, it defeats the point of the whole conversation.

Appreciation

As a leader of a group, you need to show gratitude to your employees. Showing your appreciation to your employees will motivate them to work harder and give you their absolute best.

Wording

When sending out an email at work, be careful of how you construct it. Use exclamation marks only when necessary and be careful with humour because it can easily get lost in translation. Always respond to emails in a timely manner.

Different styles

We are all unique and that’s why you should learn different styles of communication to cater for everyone’s needs, especially if you’re a leader. There are visual communicators, auditory communicators, kinesthetic communicators and auditory digital communicators. A good leader has to know how to communicate to each person in order to be an effective communicator.

Communication can be tricky because we all come from diverse backgrounds and there can easily be breakdowns in communication. It’s important to develop communication skills as they help build a successful company. Excellent communication skills will help you whether you studied a sales and marketing course or want to make a speech at your sister’s wedding.