Whether you’re in the workplace or at home, it’s essential to get your point across in a clear and effective manner. Unfortunately, many people seem to have lost or neglected the art of communicating properly. This leads to a lot of confusion, mishandling, and a failure to establish their presence as they deserve.
Without the proper kind of communication, even the most talented person might not be able to contribute much or get acknowledged for their work. If you’ve been wondering how to communicate with others, get recognition for good work, or close a deal effectively, the following tips might be of help:
1. Be Clear About Your Message
Before you approach someone in person on write an email, take some time to gather your thoughts and points. Do you know just what ideas you want to express or what message you want to get across? What is the main takeaway from this communication?
This initial step might not take more than a couple of minutes at the most, but it will help to streamline whatever you want to say. When you’re not tripping over words, following a confused train of thought, or getting a mental block, the conversion will flow much more smoothly.
2. Have a Two-Way Discussion
Whether you’re trying to have a validating conversation with kids or talking to a member of your work team, always make sure to listen. Other people’s words, their body language, and even what they don’t say will help you understand where they’re coming from.
Ask yourself and be honest about whether you really understand what a client or colleague was trying to tell you. Many times, we’re so busy in getting our own point across that we negate the efforts and words of the other person.
It definitely is important to speak clearly so that clients would listen, but it might be even more essential to lend them an ear. Pay attention to the people around you, and you’d hopefully be able to help them better along with establishing yourself as a good listener and efficient worker.
3. Repeat on Both Sides
One good way to ensure that other people understand your and vice versa is to adopt the repeat process. This is when you ask the other party to repeat what you just said; not in the exact words, but their own interpretation of it. It’s quite an important step in communicating, especially if there’s a major project or task at stake. The practice will tell you whether your points were absolutely clear or not; if there has been the slightest miscommunication, repeating the instructions or statements might help to clear it up.
The other way round is also applicable. When someone says something that’s potentially important, repeat it back to them. This will almost guarantee that the result or reaction will be as required for both parties.
4. Respect Others, Respect Yourself
If you want to communicate clearly and effectively anywhere, first understand that the message is not all about you and your goals. There’s also an element of what the other party is going to gain from it. Frame the message so that the benefits are clear, and people will start listening to you more closely as well. Assuming that anyone should just listen because you’re talking will only create obstacles in communication.
Even if there’s no direct benefit involved, it helps if you believe in what you’re trying to convey. Show that you’re sincere about what the other person wants as well as their unique perspectives and try to play into those. They’re already taking out some time and attention for you, so mutual respect should be there. Both groups need to realize their different perspectives, motivations, needs, and positions.
5. Work On Quality Content
The start of effective communication is to work on the content of your message. It’s essential that you ensure clear and accurate information as much as possible. This counts whether you have to write a mass email or are making small talk around the water cooler. When you make your information interesting and relevant to the other person, you’d be more successful in communicating.
For instance, if you’re just having an informal conversation, don’t go for any personal or controversial matters. In general, gossip, spreading stories, or just discussing people in a personal way can make you lose professional credibility.
6. Focus on Modern Methods
If you find yourself being unable to communicate or a lot of miscommunication despite following the points above, check to see if your method is correct. By this, we mean that the method should be up to date and accessible to everyone in the workplace. For instance, you might still be using the old-fashioned paper memo system or sending an email out without updating the list of recipients. As a result, some employees might not be getting the information at all.
Take out some time, see which method of conveying a message is best, and then try to adopt it. Some people don’t check their regular text messages that much anymore, so ask if WhatsApp or another channel might be better. Ensure that everyone who is relevant is on the emailing list, and that their active email addresses are on it.
If you’re used to sticking a notice on a board and expecting everyone to regularly check it for updates, try changing such habits. Remote workers, employees who are in a rush, or anyone else might not get a chance to see such notices. In any case, it’s probably best to send emails or written messages through more than one channel.
7. Work on Nonverbal Communication
Nonverbal communication means your body language, signals, or the tone of voice. For instance, if you maintain a confident demeanour, your superiors and coworkers will be more likely to pay attention.
The same goes for maintaining good posture, making eye contact, and not fidgeting when your body is idle. Stand up when you’re saying something important, keep your tone of voice moderate, and stay passionate about what you’re saying. There’s nothing worse than a monotonous tone when it comes to communication; if what you’re saying bores you, it will hardly excite the other person into reacting in a productive manner.
8. Ask Some Questions
In addition to repeating what the other person said, try to ask at least one or two questions regarding your conversation. The questions will show them that you were definitely listening and understood what they wanted to say.
Having some good questions will also help you get more information and help in moving the conversation forward. Make sure you ask relevant questions about the topic at hand, though. This step doesn’t work if you use the questions to shift to a completely different topic.
If you don’t want people overlooking you at work or in a social circle, take the idea of communicating very seriously. It just might become the key to a promotion, successfully closing a major deal, or succeeding in any walk of life. Remember, communication can be at a verbal or nonverbal level, even working through your behavior. Listen to others, use any feedback, and try practicing the tips above as much as possible. These habits will not just help in making your mark, but also establishing good long term work relationships with your office mates.