Communication is the act of exchanging or imparting information with another organism by means of speaking, writing, or any other medium. It is an important aspect of human life as humans cannot survive without communicating with each other.
This is one of those random epiphanies that hit you like a truck in the middle of a normal Tuesday. Last week when I went to play in a breakout escape rooms in Bangalore all by myself, I was put into a group with 5 other strangers. While playing the game, I noticed how even amidst the pressure of the time constraint, we all were able to get over the awkwardness and communicate with each other like we had been friends for a while. Come to think of it, most human relationships in our lives happen with a similar suddenness. Someone who was just a known face in classrooms can become your best friend through communication. You can grow apart from your closest friends if you cut off communication for long enough.
In every aspect, whether it is while giving an interview, asking for help, or delivering instructions, communication plays a key role in how each moment of our lives plays out.
If you are one who is struggling with communication skills, it is high time you look into ways to improve them. After all, this is that one skill that can be a make or break in both your career and your personal life.
Let’s take an example of two bosses, one of whom is confident with his communication and explains himself well. The other one is quick and does not communicate his messages well. Whom would you listen to and act towards more? The first one, right? One who communicates well and is clear will be the one who would attract more people.
So, let’s have a look at a few of the most effective ways to improve your communication skills and get more confident:
One of the most important aspects of communication is listening. People usually forget that listening plays as much role, if not more than speaking. A good communicator listens to their audience. Ask for clarification if required to avoid any misunderstandings while listening. You should be attentive when someone is speaking instead of trying to multitask the whole time. This helps in giving the speaker hope that he is getting your attention and is being heard.
Slouchy body, hunched back, or no eye contact are some of the biggest personality turn-offs for anyone. How you present yourself while communicating is a clear indicator of how people would treat you. If you want to be a very good communicator, you must display confidence through your body as well. Poor body language will never demand the same type of attention.
Long stories are fun only when you are all sitting around a campfire in the hills with roasted marshmallows in your hands. But when you are communicating formally, no one has enough time to listen to your 3-page story or reply to you. And hence, it is always better that you stick to the main crux and convey your message in the most precise way.
This is one of the most common mistakes we as humans make. We tend to say things we don’t mean and end up hurting others. The same goes for written communication as well. Rethink and reread your messages before you say something or hit the send button. This also shows that you are acknowledging the other person and replying to them attentively.
While you are going for a meeting or something similarly important, it is always appreciated that you write points down. Sometimes you can miss out on important things to say while in the flow of speaking. So, making small notes is a great way to ensure you cover all the points while presenting your thoughts or ideas.
In today’s digital environment, people seem to prefer written communication more than spoken ones. While work emails or casual texts are very effective for communication, some things just cannot be explained in writing. So, even if you hate calls personally, pick up your phone when you know things need verbal explanation. When you speak, your intonations express more than the content of your speech. Make sure you don’t avoid spoken conversations despite understanding the need for them.
Even if you are in an unacquainted land, where you have no mode of communication, smiling can make you more approachable for others and hence make the first step of communication ice-breaking much easier. A positive attitude and a smile give the other person the impression that you are friendly and hence they will willingly try to assist you.
How you talk to others in front of someone can leave a huge impression of your personality on them. How many of those date horror stories have you heard where someone ditched the other person right after witnessing their rude behaviour towards servers? These small things, like not talking down to anyone and appreciating their effort, make a big impact on the way people perceive you and communicate with you.
These were some of the tips which you can implement in everyday life to become a good communicator. Be confident, polite, and if necessary, rehearse your speech, even if it is just everyday conversation, to train yourself. You will notice the way people interact with you will change significantly when you can communicate without hesitation.