Do you know how to communicate effectively? Good communication skills are vital for any relationship – especially in business.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is communication?
Communication is the way you interact and exchange information with others. It can be done verbally, such as in person or over the phone, or in writing, for example via email.
So, how can you know you’re communicating effectively?
Talk less and listen more
The main goal of effective communication is to recognise what the other person is saying. To achieve this, you must learn how to actively listen. This involves focusing your full attention on the other person and showing interest in what there are saying, such as nodding along or saying ‘yes’ at the right moment.
You can also use this time to ask questions as a means to better understand what the other person is communicating.
Be assertive when speaking
Effective communicating also involves being assertive when communicating your opinions, thoughts and feelings. This does not mean being aggressive or harsh. Rather, it indicates a need to speak your ideas in a clear and respectful way.
The most efficient way to achieve this tone is to be very clear about what you want to say. Learn your key values and opinions and speak with positivity. When we appear (or sound) confident our ideas are conveyed more clearly and effectively.
You can also use this step to let people know that you don’t agree with what they are communicating to you.
Take your time
Finally, effective communication is best achieved when you take moments to pause and collect your thoughts.
This will help you to avoid outbursts and gives you time to piece together your words in your mind. Too often when we rush our communications we end up saying something or agreeing to an action that we would not have done normally.
We also recommend only making one point at a time when communicating. This ensures the other person doesn’t get confused or overwhelmed – and it’s a good ideal not to interrupt people or make unnecessary comments when the other person is speaking.
Effective communication is a two-way street. If you play your part well, so will the other person.
Do you have any communication tips you’d like to share? Tell us below!