Effective communication skills are critical to successful life’s tasks. People have excellent communication skills and are more likely to foster good relations with friends and family. This page lists the commonly seen ‘problem areas’ and suggests where to place your focus. What’s different about how we send and receive messages and what are they taking (read and listening – for example) is the process of sending and decoding. Amping communication may also involve any two of any elements of both. For example, this page lists common communication problems that improve communication skills.
What Does “Effective” Communication Skills Mean?
There is no one definition for effective communication, but certain qualities are often associated with it. These include strong listening skills, being clear and concise in what you say so that the other person can understand your message quickly.
How to Communicate Effectively?
Many people who would like to have good communication skills find it difficult. This is because not everyone has a natural disposition for communicating well with others. The following page will cover the basics of how effective communication occurs and provide some tips on how to improve your communication skills.
Get to Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience is significant to effective communication in the workplace. Be careful with what you say, write and present because you never know how it might be received or understood by different people with varying backgrounds and interests. For example, if you’re presenting at an event, don’t assume that everyone shares your knowledge and experiences. To figure out what your audience is thinking or feeling, try to get their point of view by asking open-ended questions like “What brings you here?” or “What is your agenda?”
By asking questions, you’ll get better insights into the mindsets and motivations of different people. You can also share your own experiences with them to create a sense of understanding.
Communication is about sharing oneself. It’s about speaking up and voicing one’s thoughts and opinions to others in a self-reflective way. Communicating effectively also involves the practice of assertiveness, which means standing up for your own beliefs while respecting those of others at the same time. It is also about being able to control one’s emotions. Suppose we cannot keep our anger, for example, from boiling over and exploding onto others in retaliation or hostility. In that case, we must find ways to manage those feelings through relaxation exercises and breathing techniques.
Effective communication cannot be achieved without both sending and receiving. Therefore, paying attention to the other person’s message is just as important as choosing how that message is delivered.
We never hear words when someone speaks. Instead, gestures and facial expressions tell us the actual message, so be sure to pay attention to those.
The best communication is a two-way street. Listen closely to what another person says and get their opinion on how they feel about your message.
Listening well helps you understand people better, but it also allows them to feel heard. Without being able to express themselves openly, people may become frustrated or even lash out.
If someone is angry, for example, you need to listen carefully to tell you where the anger comes from and why it bothers them. If what’s bothering them is not your fault or responsibility, then apologize and offer help with finding a solution instead of denying their feelings or blame-shifting onto them.
How to Listen:
– Pay attention and listen carefully
– Try not to interrupt the other person
– Be open-minded, understanding, or curious about what they’re saying
– Encourage them by nodding your head in agreement if you agree with their points; ask questions for clarification when needed.
Avoid Misunderstandings and Provide Clear Communication
Effective communication occurs when information is passed clearly and accurately. Proper planning can deem the difference between an effective, professional-looking presentation or one that leaves you staring at your computer screen with backspace on repeat to avoid sending out these types of less than positive messages.
Proper workplace communication involves taking into account what you want to say, how you want to say it, and what the receiver wants to hear.
When presenting a message, for example, imagine yourself in their shoes – have they had anything more critical interrupt them? Are they hungry or too tired? Do they speak English as a secondary language and need help understanding your words through translation software?
If so, you may need to provide more information or break your message down into smaller bite-sized pieces.
To avoid a small contention escalating into an unnecessary crisis, have informal communication as soon a possible. Understand that different perspectives are bound to arise because you and the other person perceive the situation through different lenses. Therefore, whenever possible, ask questions to explore the other person’s point of view before making assumptions on why they behaved the way they did.
If the situation is escalating, take time to breathe and calm down before approaching it again. Be sure to enter with a spirit of understanding rather than anger or hostility because this will further escalate things.
Give Honest Feedback
Feedback can be difficult for some people to give openly – especially when they know that giving feedback may lead to confrontation or criticism. It’s essential that you be sensitive while still providing clarity, so avoid criticizing the other person and provide feedback on what they need to do better next time.
It can also help if both parties know how each one likes to receive feedback – some people prefer a timeline for improvement, whereas others like their employer to tell them if they’re doing a good job or not.
Do Not Take it Personally.
Whether you are working with people in the office, family members at home, friends, or strangers on social media – avoid taking their words to heart and remember that conflict is never personal. The person may be having a bad day, feeling angry about something unrelated to what you’re discussing, or just trying to get you riled up to distract from their feelings.
If the conflict is getting too personal, take a break and come back later when emotions have cooled down.
More Tips From Sheila’s Heen for Effective Communication:
- Asking open-ended questions to create a sense of understanding.
- Be careful with what you say, write, or present because you never know how to receive or understand it from different people with varying backgrounds and interests.
- Get to know your audience before communicating! Understand what they’re thinking and feeling
- Amping communication may also involve any two of any elements of both. For example, this page lists common communication problems that improve communication skills.
- Effective communicators can listen as much or more than they speak. The best listeners ask open-ended questions because it will create a sense of understanding for your message.
- Practical strong communication skills are critical to successful life’s tasks. People have excellent communication skills and are more likely to foster good relations with friends and family.
- Good listeners ask open-ended questions because it will create a sense of understanding for your message.
We hope you have found this article helpful and that it has given you some fresh ideas on how to better communicate with your team. Whether or not these tips work for you, we encourage everyone to try out the suggestions in various situations so they can find what works best for them. If you’re looking for more insights into how to become a more effective communicator, please read our other blog posts!