If there’s any interpersonal skill that’s arguably one of the most effective ones in our day-to-day lives, it’s communication skills. Whether it’s at home, at school, or in the workplace, our communication skills can have a tremendous effect on how well we can interact with others, and how they perceive us.
Here are some helpful tips for using effective communication skills:
1. Try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes
Yes, it’s human nature to be concerned about our own interests first. If we didn’t consider that first then we should question our own humanity. That said, keep in mind that everybody else is doing the same thing. So it’s easily to communicate with people effectively if we try to see a situation from their perspective. What are they thinking? How they are feeling? What’s their take on a situation? If we consider these types of questions when dealing with people, then we’ll be able to communicate with them much more effectively.
2. Be able to read non-verbal communication
Non-verbal communication comprises the vast majority of our communication. If you’re able to read people’s non-verbal communication cues, then you’ll definitely become a better communicator. In particular, focus on how people talk to you, and not just what they say. Also, learn to read body language well. If you can improve in these two areas then you’ll be on your way to improving your communication skills.
3. Be a good listener
This is definitely one of the most important ways to communicate well with people. Too often we only focus on what we have to say, instead of what the other person wants to share with us. To use effective communication skills, it’s important to learn to be a good listener. Interestingly, that involves doing less instead of more. It’s also important to note that hearing a person is quite different from listening to them.
4. Use a friendly tone
This includes your spoken and written tone. Sometimes it’s not just what you say or write, but also how you do it. It’s important not to be too abrasive, demanding, etc. when dealing with people. Instead, by using a friendly tone you’ll be able to create a good impression with the person you’re communicating with, which will in turn make your exchange with him or her more effective.
5. Use perception checking and follow-ups
One of the big issues involving communication skills is that people sometimes don’t misunderstand what we’re saying, and vice versa. That’s why it’s important to do perception checking and follow-ups when communicating with people. It will help to make sure that everyone’s on the same page, which will help to improve our communication skills.
6. Access to workshops and seminars
It’s always helpful to combine theory and practice when learning any skills, such as skating. These types of events are a perfect blend of both approaches to skating. Yes, it’s important to practice your skating regularly. However, it’s arguably just as important to learn some new skating theories that will help to improve your understanding of the skill. Workshops and seminars are definitely some good options.
7. Emphasize results
When communicating with people it’s important to focus on results, rather than the communicating itself. What are your goals and objectives when communicating with a person through spoken or written words? How will you get to Point B?
8. Show genuine appreciation
It’s often been said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. When we were youngsters our parents often told us to remember to thank people for stuff. However, as we become adults we often forget to follow such basic rules. One way to deal with people effectively is to show genuine appreciation.
It’s important to show gratitude to people when they’ve helped us with a basic task, collaborated with us on a big project, and so on. It doesn’t really matter to what expect a person has helped us. What’s more important is that we show them that we value that help. It all starts with a simple “thank you.”