Learn effective communication techniques
Of all the living beings and species on the planet, it is the only man that possesses the gift of language and communication. However, many a time we lack effective communication skills in our interpersonal interactions, which eventually lead to miscommunication, communication gap or no communication at all. Needless to say, this poses as a hindrance to our wellbeing as well as those we interact with. To top it all, the virtual communication, i.e. emails, social media, online portals, instant messaging, etc. further the communication gap which has become so evident in our lives lately. Developing effective communication skills is, therefore, important life skill and a professional prerequisite in today’s day and age.
Effective communication, by definition, means communication between two or more people, where the intended information is successfully shared, delivered and understood. There are several reasons why you might be finding it difficult to communicate your thoughts to people around you. Stress, lack of focus, negative body language, non-verbal cues, etc. could be some of the reasons hindering your communication. Listed below are some ways you can learn to be effective with your communication:
- Be a good listener
The first and foremost way of being good at communication is learning to be a good listener. Oftentimes, we listen to reply, instead of understanding. Thus, being a patient and engaged listener helps in gaining clarity, understanding the tone and intentions of the speaker and paves the road for clear, direct communication.
- Pay attention to non-verbal signals
According to various studies, 65% of the communication we engage in is non-verbal. Cues such as body language and prompts play an important role in facilitating communication. Practice non-verbal communication by paying attention to your body language while indulging in a conversation. Maintaining eye contact, refraining from crossing your arms over your body, nodding your head in agreement when necessary, are some of the body language cues you must keep in mind while communicating with others.
- Exert assertiveness
Exerting assertiveness is the easiest way towards clear, direct communication. However, being assertive is not synonymous with being aggressive, unreasonable or demanding. It simply implies that you express your thoughts and views in an honest way while respecting the others’ opinions on the same.
- Engage with your listeners/audience
Inviting opinions, asking questions and soliciting feedback is a good technique to engage with your listeners. This makes it easier to gain clarity on the topic being discussed and makes the participants feel heard, valued and noticed. While practicing this technique, it also takes time to respond to what is being said. This helps in establishing a rapport respectfully with those involved.
It is important for people and organizations to prioritize communication and recognize that effective communication is about understanding others and making yourself understood, instead of winning an argument or establishing authority.
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