How Do Your Communication Skills Measure Up?

Communication: It’s an exchange. A process of sharing your thoughts, ideas, or feelings with another person. It’s easy right? Not so much. For communication to be effective, it requires great skill in both listening and speaking. Here are a few tips to improve your skills as a communicator.

  • Face-to-face conversation conveys the greatest amount of emotion, trust, and understanding. Use it as often as you can.
  • Be assertive when communicating. Avoid sending messages that might leave uncertainty in the mind of the receiver. Be sure to provide enough detail so the person you’re talking to knows exactly what you’re talking about.
  • Respond rather than react.  Ask questions to get the facts and gain a better understanding of the person’s feelings. Use phrases like: “Tell me more.” “Can you give me an example?” “Can you share a little bit about what lead you to that belief?” “What I thought you just said is XXX. Is that what you meant?”
  • Be positive.  One of the choices we always have is how we see or experience any given circumstance. Between your facial expressions and your body language, people can see what you are thinking. To help maintain a positive state, ask yourself what you can learn from every situation. Ask yourself what is great about every situation. Find the silver lining.
  • Listen!  Most of you think we are good listeners, when in fact we are not. Check yourself. Do you find yourself thinking about what to say next instead of really listening to the person’s response? Good listening means clearing your mind of distractions, including what you’re going to say next.
  • Be considerate of others.  While speaking about someone to others, always picture that person beside you and only say the things you would say if they were present.

Communication is the process of transmitting a message from a sender to a receiver in such a way that it is understood by both parties. When asked to identify the characteristics of people we admire, the ability to communicate effectively is often high on the list. Effective communication is an essential ingredient in all our lives, whether it be at work or at home. How do your communication skills measure up?

Need to brush up on your communication skills? Find tips here!