How are your conversational skills? If we are getting real, you would probably agree that the average person could use a tune-up on both their listening and talking skills. I know I can. With several methods of communication available to you each day from face-to-face to texting to Skyping and everything in between, great communication skills are more important than ever.
Let’s take a look at the basics: What is communication and how do you do a better job of getting your message across to a person, your team or a virtual audience? Read these 8 great tips for further insights.
What is Communication?
It is the imparting or exchanging of information or news. It is the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings. But most importantly, it is the sending and receiving of information.
8 Great Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills
Use the same communication method as the sender, unless you are confused or need to understand tone.
If your teammate emails or texts you, it is okay to email or text back UNLESS you encounter one or more of the following things: a) You don’t understand the message, b) You find the message too complicated or
c) You cannot assess the sender’s emotions.If this is the case, pick up the phone and ask for a face-to-face meeting or at a minimum, understand the message while you are on the phone together.
Digest the digital message entirely.
How many times have you read an email or text or listened to a voicemail and thought you understood the sender’s message but when you reread it or listened to it, you were wrong? I try not respond when I am hurried or tired. It is important to pay full attention to the message before responding back.
Use the 24-hour rule if emotions are rising.
When you receive a heated email or have a face-to-face confrontation, sometimes it is best to let things lie for a day or so. Ask yourself this question, “Does this email or issue need immediate resolution?” If the answer is no and you are finding yourself getting upset, wait a day or two. Then, go see the person or call them on the telephone, but don’t continue the dialog on email.
Listen and take notes.
Research says we only hear about 25% of what is said during a presentation or conversation. In order to improve that percentage, move away from digital devices (unless you are taking notes on them), establish eye contact and really listen to what the sender is sharing with you. If you have questions and it isn’t appropriate to ask them while the person is talking, write them down and ask during the Q&A session.
Take in tone and body language.
In order to improve your communication skills, you need to look at body language, hear tone and then evaluate the message. According to Psychology Today, 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken. In addition, remember if the words conflict with the body language or tone, we will believe the latter, not the former.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Don’t say things you don’t mean. Your teammates and leaders are relying on your ability to tell them the truth. If you can’t take on any new projects, tell them so and when you have availability to take it on. If office drama is a problem, let your leadership team know the specifics and what you would like them to do about it.
Be direct and get to the point.
Many times directness is considered a negative, but in business it is a must have. People are busy; you need to tell them what you need and when you need it. Listen for their response and react accordingly.
Don’t script your message or response.
So many times in the past, I would rehearse my message and/or my response. I would anticipate what the other person probably was going to say instead of listening to their response. I don’t do that any longer. I say what I need to say and listen to a response fully and then carefully choose my words. This is called a conversation and it is something we must perfect if we are to become better communicators.
Fun Team Building Can Help Your Team with Communication
Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman can help build up your team’s communication skills! Give Larry a call at 770-333-3303 to determine how he can help!