Do you remember the childhood game ‘Chinese whispers’, also known as ‘telephone’? In this game, one person’s message would be passed along a line of people, and by the end, the message would end up being completely different. This childhood game is an adulthood reality. Miscommunication happens daily at work or at home.
Communication is the key, and being a strong communicator gets you far in life. Though not everyone is a born communicator, there are proven ways to improve your communication skills. Here are 10 ways:-
To be a good communicator, you first have to listen well. Communication is hampered when one of the parties involved is not listening properly. By paying attention, you get every important detail of the communication, and you also improve on how to communicate back well.
Be to the Point
Majority of the miscommunication happens when there is too much needless information. Keep your communication concise without compromising on the importance of it. This applies to both written and verbal communication. For written communication, proofread, and for verbal communication, practice saying only what is important to the conversation.
Know Your Listener
You have to know who you are communicating with, and have to gauge what type of communication they are going to understand. For example, if you are communicating with a colleague or a senior, obviously informal language should not be used. Also, if you use acronyms, you cannot assume that the other person will immediately understand. So, know your listener.
Assertive & Active Voice
The language you use in your communication should be assertive and active. This form of language instantly grabs the attention of the listener or reader. They will latch on to your every word and the right message will be passed on.
Body language is a great way to communicate without words but still have a profound impact. When you are in a video conference call or face-to-face meeting, keep a positive body language like an open stance and eye contact. This is subconsciously read by the other person, and their body language also becomes positive.
People assume they have not made a mistake and hit send on their written communication. Do not do this. Proofread what you have written once or twice before sending. One tip is that do not proofread immediately after writing. It’s harder to spot errors. Take a small break, give rest to your eyes, and then proofread.
When you are being communicated to, take down important points in the communication. This is a very simple but effective method to ensure there is no miscommunication.
Watch Your Tones
Most miscommunication happens because either of the parties involved was not speaking in the right tone. Don’t be too loud, don’t be too soft, and don’t be rude or condescending. Always communicate politely and respectfully with everyone.
Right Frame of Mind
When you are about to communicate, be sure that you are in the right frame of mind. Tiredness, frustration, sadness, and anger, among other range of emotions, can hamper what you want to communicate. Just make sure you are positive or at least neutral.
Directly communicate with the person you mean to. In many organizations, communication channels are created with many needless people passing on the messages. As we know thanks to the Chinese whispers game, this does not work when there are too many people. Just communicate directly with the person you mean to.
Communication is something that has a substantial impact on our personal and professional life. It has to be taken seriously. And always remember some of the most successful and happy people in life are great communicators.