Winning strategies to improve your communication skills
Communication skills are key in the workplace. They help you get your points across, build strong relationships, and create a positive workplace culture. If you want to improve your communication skills, or simply brush up on them, here are some tips that can help you get there.
- Give your full attention to the conversation at hand and demonstrate empathy.
- Don’t look at your devices while the other person is speaking.
- Ask closed-ended questions. Closed-ended questions are those that require a short, simple answer and don’t lead to the back and forth that makes for a two-way dialogue.
- Ask specific questions: Specificity helps avoid misunderstandings between parties.
- Don’t rush through your talking points.
- Don’t rush through your answers.
- Don’t rush through your emails.
- Don’t rush through meetings and presentations.
Practice active listening
- Give your full attention to the conversation.
- Don’t think about your next comment while the speaker is talking.
- Make eye contact with the speaker in order to show that you’re interested in what they’re saying.
- Nod your head occasionally as a way of showing that you’re listening and understanding what’s being said.
- Ask questions if there is something that you don’t understand or need clarification on (e.g., “What do you mean?” or “Could you explain that again?”).
Think before your speak
Most of the time we don’t think before we speak, especially in meetings and conversations — which is when most —misunderstandings occur. Before speaking make sure that what you have to say is relevant and adds value to the conversation.
See things from the other person’s perspective
Follow the old saying: Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before judging.
These are just a few of the ways you can improve your communication skills. Remember, practice makes perfect! There is no better way to improve your communication skills than practice — practice to become both a better speaker and listener. The more often you try these strategies and incorporate them into your daily interactions, they will become second nature. You’ll find that people begin to open up more around you because they know they’re being heard and understood.
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