What is one quality that every leader – business, political or any other – share? They’re all very good at communicating effectively with whoever they engage with. Being able to send across the right message is key to a successful personal or professional relationship. Many issues can be avoided with good communication. This blog post will cover tips for enhancing your communication skills with your colleagues, clients or bosses in the workplace.
- Be a good listener
Everyone will tell you this, but why is it important? Analyzing another person’s feelings, not just the meaning of the words, can help you understand what they actually mean. This cannot happen if you’re not a good listener. Grasping the feeling behind the words that are coming out of the mouth of the other person will help you respond better and address those feelings. While listening, put your focus on the speaker, avoiding cutting him/her off in the middle and show your interest. Remember that sometimes the message is encoded in the words.
- KISS – Keep It Simple and Straightforward
Be clear. Don’t beat around the bush, but don’t confuse clarity with rudeness. Instead of saying the same thing from three different angles, be very clear in sending across the message in as few words as possible. You’ll get better at it when you practice it. Perhaps this was the inspiration behind the character limit of Twitter?
- Craft your message
In the context of the workplace, it’s not advisable to use slang or humor that might be offensive to some. This applies to both written and oral communication. When speaking with your boss or a client, the choice of words can make a lot of difference. Put some thought into what you really want to say and then choose the right words to encode it with. Avoid sentences that may have double meaning. Crafting also involves selecting the right tone based on who you’re interacting with.
- Emotional Intelligence Matters
Recent studies have shown that EQ (Emotional intelligence quotient) matters just as much as IQ. It’s argued that IQ cannot be learned, but EQ, on the other hand, is something that can be learned and mastered. Deciphering the body language of the other person is part of understanding their emotions, the nonverbal cues. But the first step in understanding other person’s emotions is to understand what your own feelings and emotions are and how you can communicate them to the other person. The key here is to empathize with the other person.
- Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Last, but definitely not the least, prepare well before you communicate. This may not hold true for your day-to-day communications but it definitely holds true for even moderately important communications. You may have seen that star presenters are very relaxed while communicating with their audience. This does not mean that they haven’t burned their midnight oil preparing for the presentation. In fact, on the contrary, they’re the ones who spend most time preparing for the communication. This is very significant in an age where our electronic communication habits have badly impacted our effective spoken and written communication skills.