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Friday, 10 August 2018

10 Practical Tips for Effective Communication



 (Free Image: Pixabay)

Having good communication skills is important. They can help you with presentations in class, during job interviews, when handling arguments, and in a variety of other situations
Effective communication is one of the most important life skills we can learn—yet one we don’t usually put a lot of effort into. Whether you want to have better conversations in your social life or get your ideas across better at work, here are some essential tips for learning to communicate more effectively.

    (1)  Be brief, yet specific. For written and verbal communication, practice being brief yet specific enough, that you provide enough information for the other person to understand what you are trying to say. And if you are responding to an email, make sure that you read the entire email before crafting your response. With enough practice, you will learn not to ramble, or give way too much information.

    (2)  Think before you speak. Always pause before you speak, not saying the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment and pay close attention to what you say and how you say it. This one habit will allow you to avoid embarrassments.

(3)     Listen, listen, and listen. People want to know that they are being heard. Really listen to what   the other person is saying, instead of formulating your response. Ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings. At that moment, the person speaking to you should be the most important person in your life. Another important point is to have one conversation at a time. This means that if you are speaking to someone on the phone, do not respond to an email, or send a text at the same time. The other person will know that she doesn’t have your undivided attention.

      (4)  Watch tone: While it’s sometimes necessary to be assertive in order to make your point, don’t be aggressive. There is a fine line between the two. Try not to cross it. An adversarial tone is not in any way productive. Be confident and direct, while still adopting a calm, cooperative tone.


     
      (5) Notice non-verbal cues: Watch body language. Lack of eye contact, distraction, or fidgeting are often signs of restlessness or impatience. Yawning or sighing are usually signs of mental or physical fatigue. When you notice these types of non-verbal signals, it’s a sign that this conversation is not going to be a productive one. Quickly wrap up the conversation, postpone the conversation, or inquire about the discomfort if your relationship allows.

      (6) Request feedback: Confirm that you have a mutual understanding of what’s being communicated. We often think that we’ve reached a resolution and come to an understanding, only to find out that we have completely misunderstood the other person’s thoughts. Ask for input and feedback. This not only confirms that you have successfully communicated; it also makes the other person feel that they have been heard and understood. 
   
      (7) Tailor your message accordingly: The best communicators adjust how they talk based on whom they’re speaking to; you’d probably use a different style of communication with co-workers or your boss compared to when you’re speaking with your significant other, kids, or elders. Always try to keep the other person’s perspective in mind when you try to get your message across. 
     
      (8) Put away the distractions: It’s pretty rude to use your phone while someone’s talking to you or you’re supposed to be hanging out with them. Maybe we can’t get rid of all our distractions or put away technology completely, but just taking the time to look up could vastly improve our communication with each other. 

      (9) Get rid of unnecessary conversation fillers:  Um’s and ah’s do little to improve your speech or everyday conversations. Cut them out to be more persuasive and feel or appear more confident. One way is to start keeping track of when you say words like “um” or “like.” You could also try taking your hands out of your pockets or simply relaxing and pausing before you speak. Those silences seem more awkward to you than they do to others, trust us. 
   
      (10)  Pronounce your words correctly and use the right words:  People will judge your competency through your vocabulary. If you aren’t sure of how to say a word, don’t use it. Improve your vocabulary by reading new words in daily routine. Look in the dictionary to help you learn how to pronounce a new word. People will perceive you as nervous and unsure of yourself if you talk fast. However, be careful not to slow down to the point where people begin to finish your sentences just to help you finish.

CONCLUSION: If you want to work on developing your communication skills, practice making eye contact and speaking slowly and clearly whenever you talk to someone. Try practicing in front of a mirror, and take breaks to look up words you don't know in a dictionary. You can also watch videos of public speakers and pay attention to how they animate their voice so they don't sound monotone. 




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