You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Effective communication will help you develop a stronger rapport, make you memorable, and enable you to read people better.
Practise these key skills to develop your communication skills:
1. Active listening:
Listen twice as much as you speak and be interested in what the other person has to say. Avoid interrupting, and reflect on what was said before you start speaking.
2. Non-verbal communication:
Are you aware of the non-verbal messages you’re sending? Consider eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, and the tone of your voice.
3. Being clear and succinct:
When speaking be clear, concise, and articulate. Less is always more when it comes to communicating effectively.
4. Asking engaging questions:
Show you’re interested in what the other person has to say. The different types of questions you ask include open, closed, specific, and visionary.
5. Effective feedback:
Whether it’s giving or receiving feedback, the process is essential. It must be handled carefully, with prior thought, and consideration as to the type of person you’re giving it to, or receiving it from. Tailor the process accordingly.
6. Being empathetic:
Showing that you understand and share the feelings of others builds trust and rapport. It will also make you more effective at communicating.
7. Clarifying and summarising:
Reflect on the message and summarise what you heard to check you understand it correctly. It takes two to tango, and reframing the message helps the sender frame their messages in future.
When it comes to communication, what are your strengths and where do you need to stretch? Communication is key to business success.
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