Effective communication is key to your development and progress, not to mention that of your team! Without effective communication, you will lag behind in many aspects of your personal and professional life.  And your team, therefore your business, will not reach its full potential without the tools to communicate effectively.

If you want to improve your communication skills for clarity and effectiveness, here are some vital tips for you to follow:

1. Listen Carefully

Let’s admit it, we all struggle with this. First seek to understand what the other person is saying and feeling. If you find that you are formulating a response while the other person is talking, you are NOT listening. You have to shut off that voice in order to listen.  Pay attention, be patient with them and do not interrupt. Not only is it rude to cut someone off, but it makes it hard to understand what they are saying. Wait for them to finish before you even think about your feedback.

2. Body Language

Often, we don’t realize the significance of our body language, but it can account for 70% of what we communicate. After all, actions speak louder than words. Your facial expressions, eye contact and gestures reveal everything, even though you do not utter a single word.

Exercise to improve your posture. Stand straight and smile to stimulate positive feelings. Always maintain eye contact when talking to someone.  Use open body gestures. Watch your facial expressions and the tone of your voice. At the same time, educate yourself about different non-verbal communication signals in different countries, cultures and societies. For example, the handshake is considered rude in some countries, whereas is it a common practice in the US.

3. Read and Write

In order to improve your verbal communication, read and write as much as you can. Read  books, newspaper articles, blogs or anything of interest to boost your vocabulary and write a blog to improve your writing skills. Similarly, watching some programs related to your areas of interest and movies can also help improve one’s communication skills.

4. Ask Questions

Asking questions helps clarifying things. It shows that you are truly interested in having a conversation and understanding the other person. Moreover, it also helps overcome the fear of small talk.  Learn to ask good questions, it will improve your ability to engage your audience.

5. Manage Stress

Stress can be a major impediment to effective communication. Learn to manage it.  Don’t communicate with someone if your stress level will make you sound irritated or angry with them. Use humor in your conversations, keep calm, exercise and drink lots of water.

The ability to communicate clearly, concisely and coherently takes years of practice. Hence, incorporate the above mentioned steps to not just improve your communication skills, but also improve the quality of your life.

To learn more, get in touch or come to ActionClub!