How to Improve your Communication Skills
With proper communication, our interactions with friends, clients and other people will be a lot smoother. But when good communication skills aren’t being used, our relationships can begin to break down. Communication is more important than ever with the increasing use of technology and social media. While we are exchanging large amounts of information electronically – communication isn’t always being used effectively.
Here are a couple tips for being an effective communicator:
Listening is Crucial – It may seem obvious, but communication isn’t a solo activity. Communication involves more than just yourself, so both parties will need to engage in active listening. When both parties are good listeners, the flow of information reaches its intended target and intentions are made clear. Having good listening skills can make both parties feel heard.
It is important for the listening party to focus completely on the person speaking. The other person will feel like their thoughts are being considered if the other person is paying attention and not distracted. Occasionally summarizing or restating what the person has said is a good way to show that you have understood what it is that they are trying to communicate to you.
Body Language – Body language is also extremely important but is often overlooked in successful communication. It is a tool that can help you with just about any communication with others. If you are in active listening mode, then your arms should be at your side, not crossed as crossed arms can indicate that you are closed off and are not willing to hear the other person’s point of view. Eye contact should be maintained while the other person is speaking. No need to stare – but some solid eye contact lets them know that you are focused on what they are saying.
Communication is Important – Having good communication skills will help in all facets of life, including relationships, the workplace, with friendships and even when meeting new people. Over time and with practice, your communication skills will improve and you will find you have an easier time overall with your interactions with others.