When you communicate effectively, it helps you build strong interpersonal relationships, collaborate better with colleagues, and be assertive to stand up for yourself. But before you begin to improve your communication skills, you may want to identify the key areas of improvement. Communication is not simply an exchange of words. It involves –your intention, tonality, facial expressions, body language, clarity of message, choice of words, expression and articulation.
While you work towards the improvement of your communication, here are some tips to get you started on the journey:
1.Pay attention to your intention – Take some time to reflect on your intention before communicating. Ask yourself why you want to communicate and what outcome you hope to achieve. Be honest with yourself about your intentions and make sure that your communication is constructive and positive.
2.Choose your words carefully – Once you have clarified your intention, choose your words carefully to align with that intention. Use language that is clear, respectful, and non-judgmental. Avoid language that is confrontational or defensive. For example, avoid using ‘you’ statements as this may come across as bossy or accusatory. Instead, use more inclusive words such as ‘we’ or ‘the team’.
3.Be mindful of your tone and non-verbal communication aka body language: Your tone of voice and body language can communicate more than your words. Using a respectful tone can come across as supportive. Avoid using a tone that is aggressive, sarcastic or dismissive. Be aware of your body language as well, such as maintaining positive eye contact and an open posture, to convey your sincerity and openness. Remember, people notice micro-expressions or fake smiles. Be authentic, but also kind.
4.Listen actively: Listen to what others are saying and ask questions to clarify what they mean. This shows that you value their opinions and helps avoid misunderstandings. You can also use rejoinders such as ‘hmm’, ‘I hear you’, ‘Oh’, etc.
Improving your communication skills takes practice and patience, but the benefits go a long way. By improving your communication skills, you can advance your career and achieve your professional goals.
—The Hawk Features