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How to Build Effective Communication skills
Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of communication: “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else.”
What is effective communication?
Communication is more than simply exchanging information. Understanding the emotions and motivations behind the information is key to effective communication. You must communicate clearly and listen to the message.
It sounds instinctive to communicate effectively. Unfortunately, communication with others can go wrong all too often. When we say something, the other person hears another, leading to misunderstandings, frustrations, and even conflicts; this can lead to problems at home, school, or work.
Many of us need to communicate more clearly and effectively. This is why it’s important to learn some key skills. These skills will help you communicate better with your spouse, children, boss, or coworkers. They can also deepen your relationships, build trust and respect, improve teamwork, as well as improve your social and emotional health.
You need to be able to communicate effectively.
Helpful checklist to help ensure Effective Communication at work.
Your audience (team members or clients) will be able to see the concrete message you are trying to communicate. Concrete messages will only be made concrete if they are supported by data. Factual material should support your argument. It should include data and figures, making it impossible for the audience to imagine what the arguments might look like.
If you don’t understand the message, your entire message will be meaningless. It is important to understand what goes where and when. Coherent communication is logic. It’s a planned, logical, and sequential way of communicating. It should have a solid connection to the main topic, and the flow should be consistent.
Your message’s purpose should be obvious, so the reader or listener doesn’t have to look at it or hear it differently. It is essential to know what format you would like to use. Your goal or purpose should be clear. Your audience shouldn’t be forced to make assumptions about what you are trying to communicate. The sentences should be concise, use the active voice, and put in bulleted points.
Workplace communication skills are based on commitment. It measures dedication and confidence in communicating the argument. It impresses prospects. A committed message will have a more significant impact on prospects and improve your morale.
When communicating at work, the choice of words is crucial. Your words should not leave your team in confusion. Your message should be brief and precise. It would be best if you also had consistency in tone, voice, content, and style so you could save time. Use short sentences and simple words.
Don’t leave any sentences unfinished. Every message should have a conclusion. It is important that people don’t wonder if there are more messages. Communicate clearly, including the need to inform and take action.
Let’s be positive. The other person should feel respected by your argument. Your communication should be honest, respectful, and polite. Offensive words can put people off.
These skills are necessary for Effective Communication in both personal and professional settings.
1. Your Full Attention
Active listening is the key to clear communication. If you focus on your expressions, you may not listen to or respond to others. A good communicator uses many listening styles.
Have you ever found yourself in a conversation where someone was distracted by their phone while they were talking to or listening to you? This is called being absent-minded; this is a sign that you are not communicating well. Be mindful of what you communicate. Effective communication is possible by keeping your eyes open and focusing on the conversation. To communicate your focus visually, nod your head affirmatively during a conversation.
Effective communicators must be able to comprehend the feelings of others. Empathizing is the ability to understand and relate to others’ feelings. Empathy is a skill that allows you to understand and relate to others.
3. Nonverbal communication skills
Effective communication is also dependent on nonverbal cues. Understanding nonverbal cues can help you communicate clearly and show interest to others. When you speak with someone professionally, pay attention to how your body language and facial expressions are displayed. Nonverbal cues can make a lasting impression on someone. When meeting someone for the first time, it is essential to maintain eye contact, limit hand gestures, and have a good posture.
4. Manage your emotions.
It is vital to control your emotions and communicate them in the proper context for clear communication. Poor communication and conflict can allow strong emotions to creep into a professional setting unnecessarily.
5. Assert yourself
Straightforward, assertive communication can improve your self-esteem as well as your decision-making abilities. Being assertive is expressing yourself clearly and openly, respecting others and standing up for your rights. It does NOT mean being hostile, aggressive, or demanding. Communication is about understanding and collaborating with others. It’s not about trying to win an argument or force your views on others.
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To improve your assertiveness:
Be proud of yourself and all your choices.
- Understand your needs and desires. Learn how to express them without infringing upon the rights of others.
- Use negative emotions to express your feelings in a positive manner. It’s acceptable to be angry. However, you must also remain respectful.
- Get positive feedback. Learn from your mistakes and ask for help.
- Learn how to say “no” Be aware of your limitations and don’t allow others to take advantage. So everyone is happy with the outcome, it’s important to look for other options.
Developing assertive communication techniques
- An expression of empathy that shows compassion for the other person. You must first recognize the person and their feelings. Then, you should state your opinions or needs. “I know that you have been busy at work but I want to remind you to take some time for me.”
- You can use the Escalating assertion if your first attempts fail. As time passes, you become more firm and may even include consequences for not meeting your needs. You might say, “If I don’t follow the contract, I will take legal action.”
- Develop your confidence by practising assertiveness when you are in less risky situations. Ask your friends and family to help you practice assertiveness skills on them.
6. Get feedback.
It’s okay to ask colleagues for feedback about your communication skills. Asking for feedback from your subordinates or peers on how to improve your communication skills will help you understand your performance in the workplace. Encourage others to view your viewpoints and build better relationships with coworkers.
7. Practise public speaking.
Although public speaking can seem daunting, there are many ways to improve your communication skills. Communicators who are great at communicating clearly can communicate their feelings to large groups or face-to-face. Speaking in front of others will help you see your strengths and weaknesses and teach you excellent communication skills.
8. Create a filter.
Effective communicators have excellent social skills and can modulate their feelings and thoughts to others. You should know what is appropriate to say in various situations. A filter can be used to complement other communication methods and help you keep a certain level of decorum in your workplace.
9. Patient, Confident, Persuasive and Patient
Communication is not the same thing as being able to communicate. You can communicate your information better with a bit of patience and confidence. Confidence is about being aware of your body language. You will feel more effective if you have a sense of self-worth. You could
- Keep your arms uncrossed
- Keep your spine straight
- Maintain eye contact
- Keep your devices away
10. Be smart with your time
Coffee breaks are a great way to keep the team-building spirit strong and allow everyone to get to know one another better. Better communication can be achieved through team bonding. Coffee breaks are a great way to have informal discussions and meetings. It promotes communication between colleagues and encourages the exchange of ideas. This art of conversation can encourage team members to talk about work and promote productivity through relaxed conversations.
Read More: 6 Ways to Start A Conversation with Anyone
11. Engage in team-building activities
Team-building activities can have a huge impact on your team’s productivity and overall work ethic. This can improve communication and help people build relationships. You can create a structure for your employees to work together through activities such as team lunches, group fitness sessions, puzzle-solving, and other outdoor activities. These activities can be scheduled at the end or weekly of the month to bring your team together.
12. Show your appreciation
Let your coworkers, employees, and colleagues know how much you love and respect them. You can show appreciation by thanking your team members for their great ideas and completing tasks.
13. Encourage two-way feedback
Two-way communication is essential for a positive work environment. Feedback is essential to create results in the workplace. It is where the primary goal is to improve progress towards company goals. Leaders make the common error of turning feedback into a one-way dialogue (feedback). Leaders don’t allow employees to voice their concerns and offer feedback. Encouragement of two-way feedback is an indicator of good communication at work. It will allow your team to self-evaluate and give you feedback. To improve team communication and coach your team members, give detailed feedback. Your task management system allows you to keep a written record, improving communication and productivity.
14. Interactions one-on-one
Team members who are intentional in their interactions are the key to successful teams. To ensure that employee engagement is high in your workplace, it’s important to have one-on-one conversations with each hire. Set your expectations and needs during these interactions. You should tell them what the project requires and the company’s norms for employees and allow them enough preparation time to maximize potential. Make sure to be open to your employees’ opinions when you have one-on-one conversations. Leaders must put forth their best effort to help their new hires to improve.