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12 ways to become a better communicator


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12 ways to become a better communicator

  1. 1. 12 Ways to Become a More Effective Communicator by Joe Timothy
  2. 2. 12  Ways  to   Become  a  More   Effective   Communicator
  3. 3. When   working   in   any   environment   with   various   personalities  and  people,  the  ability  to  communicate   effectively  becomes   more   and   more   important.   Not   only   that   but   when   in   business,   you   are   communicating   with   others   all   the   time   in   sales   meetings,   in   your   marketing   or   in   your   team   meetings.   Effective   and   clear   communication   is   one   of  the   most  fundamental  building  blocks  to  creating  a   great  business.   So  how  is  your  communication?  We  could  all  do   with   improving   it;   I   have   never   met   anyone   who   is   the   ‘perfect’   communicator.   They   probably   don’t   even   exist.   However,   we   can   always   do   things   to   help   ourselves   get   our   messages   across   much   more   effectively.   So   we   have   put  together   a   list   of  12   different  things   you   could   work   on   to   improve   that   all-­‐important   communication.  
  4. 4. 1. Listen  up When   you  think   of   communication  most   of   us   would   instinctively   think  of   how  we   can  make  what  we  say  clearer.  Well  the  interesting  thing  is  the  best   way   to   do   that   is   make   sure   you   listen   to   whomever   you   are   trying   to   communicate   with.   This   will   allow   you   to   get   a   greater   understanding   of   their   view  which  will   allow  you   to   explain  your   thoughts   with   much   more   clarity   and   within   the   view   they   understand.   So   listen   up   more   and   understand   people’s   points   of   view.   People   receive   information   through   their   own   perspective   without   understanding   it,   you   are   seriously   at   a   disadvantage  when  communicating. 2. Drop  your  expectations One  thing  that  we   are  all  guilty  of  when  trying   to  communicate  with   others   is   that   we   go   into   it   having  expectations.   This   is   a   natural   thing;   we   build   expectations   of   how   things   will   go   based   on   previous   experiences   and   learning’s.   The   problem   with   this   is   that   you   then   apply   things   to   a   new   situation  that   are   not  really   applicable   there   just  because  it   reminds   you  of   another  experience.    Take   each  experience  and  interaction  on  its  own  merits   you  will  learn  so  much  more.   3. Look  for  the  hidden  meaning   When   we  listen  to  what  a  person   is  saying  we  can   often   see   that  what  they   mean  is   actually  quite  different  to  the  words   they  are  saying.    For  example  if   someone  says   “I  am   no  good  at   that”   this  may  mean  that   they  are   low   on   confidence  and  need  your   encouragement  not   necessarily  that  they  are   not   good  at  the  task  itself.  Try  and  look  for  the  underlying  feeling  or  meaning.   4. Respect  the  other Many  of  us  suffer  from  the  problem   of  not  valuing  another  person’s  opinion   and  not  giving  it  the   respect  it   deserves.   This  acts   as  a  very  destructive  tool   when   trying  to   communicate.  Allow  time   to  listen  to   what   others   have   to   say  who   knows   you   may  just   learn  something  you   didn’t   know;   you  don’t   know  everything  after  all.
  5. 5. 5. Maintain  eye  contact There   is   nothing   more   shifty   or   disconcerting   than   when   you   are   in   a   discussion   in   with   someone   and   they   avoid   looking   at   you.   Looking   someone   in  the  eye   and   maintaining  it   is   so   important   to   building  rapport   with  someone.  It  shows  a   level  of  trust  and  honesty,  which  makes   what  you   are  saying,  have  much  more  validity. 6. Question,  question,  question One  of  the  fundamental  problems  in  any  business   is  telling  people  how  they   should  work,  act   or  think.  This   serves   no  purpose   other  than  to  devalue   that   person’s   contribution.   Through   questioning   an   individual   you   show   you   value  them  and  it  also  builds  in  a  capacity   within  that   individual  to   think   for   themselves.  This  will   improve   their  creativity,   problem   solving   and  sense  of   worth.   7. Mirror  the  person’s  behavior One   of  the  key   ways   to  improve   your  communication  with   someone   else  is   to  build  a  rapport  with  them.  Create   a  relationship  of  trust   and  openness.    A   proven  way  to  effectively  build  this  rapport  is  through  mirroring  their  body   language.  When  they   cross  their  legs   you  cross  yours   or   when   they   face   a   certain   way   you   face   that   way   too.   This   may   sound   a   little   far   fetched   however  it   is   a   proven  technique  for  building  an  effective   relationship   with   someone.  Obviously  keep  it  subtle  though  or  else  you  may  just  look   like  you   are  mocking  them.   8. Be  genuine When  we  discuss  something   or  communicate  something  you   can  often  pick   up   on  someone  who  is  not   being  genuine.   This  instantly  leads  to   a   level  of   distrust   that   makes   communication   difficult.   I   am   sure   you   may   have   experienced   this   feeling   yourself.   Be   genuine   in   what   you   say   and   it   will   build  honesty  in  what  you  say,  which  draws  people  to  you.  
  6. 6. 9. Always  be  positive  first This   is   the   one   thing   that   seems   most   difficult   for   people   to   do   in   my   experience.     It  is  a  wonder  what   you  can  tell   people   if  before   you  outline  the   negative  you  praise   them,  thank  them   or  just  tell  them   what  they  are  good   at.   If   you   ensure   you   start   whatever   you   say   with   something   along   these   lines  it   really  opens   someone  up  to  criticism  or  negative  feedback.  Not  only   does  this  help  them  take  whatever   you  are  about  to  say,  it  helps  them  learn   from  it  and  you  to  get  your  point  across  easier. 10. Ask  for  clarification One  of  the  things  that  I   see  in   office  environments  more  and  more   is  people   mishearing  someone   else  and  thereby  completely  misinterpreting  what  they   mean.  I  am  sure   we  are  all  guilty  of  this  at  some   point   in  our  lives.   One  way   around  this   is  to  try  and  ask   for  clarification  around   what   someone  has   said   to  you.  Just  say  “as  I   heard   it,  you  are   saying…   am   I  correct?”  This  gives  the   other  person  the  opportunity  to  clarify. 11. Feedback As  I   said  in  the   introduction   there  isn’t  anyone  in  the  world  that  couldn’t   do   with   improving   some   part   of   his   or   her   communication.   The   only   way   to   grow   and   learn   is   to   make   sure   you   get   feedback   on   how   your   communication   is   seen   by   others.   You   can   then   use   this   to   amend   and   improve  your  skills.   12. Accept  it  is  not  about  you The  greatest  communicators,  those  that   you  remember,  fully  accept  it  is   not   about  them.  When  in  a  networking   session  or  just   chatting  with  your   team   take  an  interest  in  them,  ask  them   questions  and  enquire   about  what   they   say.   These   are   the   people   that   are   remembered   and   these   are   the   people   who  are  liked,  followed  and  people  love  working  for.
  7. 7. So   there   it   is   a   list   of   12   ways   you  can   improve   your  communication.   I  hope  you   take  a   shot   at  a   few  and  see   how  they  work  out   for  you.  There  is   no  one   who  doesn’t  need  to  work  on  his  or  her   communication.  So   go   try  out  a   few  things   and   see  where  it  gets  you.