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12 tips to improve your communication skills


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To celebrate reaching our 2000 tweeps milestone on Twitter, we have put together 12 Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills. This provides some practical advice on how to communicate better.

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Published in: Leadership & Management

12 tips to improve your communication skills

  1. 1. Tips to Improve Your Communication Skills 12
  2. 2. PARAPHRASE Encourage paraphrasing to ensure the recipient understands your message. 1 Please let me know in your own words what I just said.
  3. 3. ASK QUESTIONS2 Questions help us find out what is in the other person’s head. What? When? Where? Who? Why? How? Do? Will? Can?
  4. 4. STOP TOXIC EMAILS 3 Emails are mostly one-way communication and not well suited to resolving conflict or misunderstandings. Do not send angry emails. Pick up the phone or go and see the person instead.
  5. 5. GET PEOPLE’S ATTENTION Create  an  ac)ve  subject  line  in  your  emails  so  people   know  what  they  have  to  do. 4 A subject line like‘For CEO’s urgent signature’ will get more attention than‘Finance proposal’.
  6. 6. USE THE SEVEN Cs OF COMMUNICATION 5 Concreteness  means   being  more  definite,   and  vivid  rather  than   general  and   repe))ve. * Sco$  M.  Cutlip,  Allen  H.  Center  (1952)  Effec<ve  public  rela<ons:  pathways  to  public  favour.  
  7. 7. THINK ABOUT WHETHER PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW OR BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING This should inform the choice of the most effective channels for your communication piece. 6 Presenta)ons  help     people  know  what  to  do,   demonstra)ons  and   prac)ce  help  them  learn   how  to  do  it.
  8. 8. WHAT GETS MEASURED GETS DONE (PETER DRUCKER) 7 A  standard  is  an   expression  of  the   expecta)ons  of  the   outputs  or  outcomes   to  be  met. Link instructions with performance standards to performance measurement and provide feedback about people’s performance against the standard.
  9. 9. FEEL THINK DO 8 ‘People will not always remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.’(Adapted from Maya Angelou) When  communica)ng  set  out  to  make   people  feel  something  first,  then  think,   then  do.
  10. 10. SPEND 90% OF YOUR COMMUNICATION IN ASSERTIVE MODE Being assertive helps create a shared understanding, keeps communication channels open, reduces errors and increases productivity. 9 Being  asser)ve  means   directly  expressing   your  needs  and   ascertaining  those  of   your  listener.  
  11. 11. DO NOT ASSUME 10 To understand a message properly, do not assume. If you do, you are making an ASS out of U and ME.
  12. 12. ASK OPEN QUESTIONS11 Using‘What?’instead of‘Why?’encourages the conversation to remain on friendly or neutral terrain. Asking open questions enables a rich and detailed dialogue.
  13. 13. LISTEN ACTIVELY Use active listening skills when interacting with people. 12 When communicating, be like an elephant. Big ears and small mouth.
  14. 14. CONTACT US Telephone: +61 (0)3 9614 8177