Your communication skills impact every area of your life, be it personal or professional. Everything around you is shaped by how you communicate with it. Having good communication skills can help you keep a balance between career, connections and family, as what matters most is the way you communicate with others. Whereas, communication breakdowns can cause havoc in your life.
Good communication skills come naturally to some people, but not everyone is that lucky. But the skill can he learned and honed. The bad news is that communications skills can’t be improved overnight. The good news is that improving communication skills is a simple process that one should make part of their daily life.
If you still question the worth of strong communication skills, you must know that having good communication skills is your door to success and self-improvement. If I have to suggest you one of the most important success tips for life, I would say its effective communication.
In this guide, I will share some of the best techniques to improve communication skills and common mistakes that you must avoid. Now before I move to the communication tips, let’s me take you to understand how communication actually works.
How Communication Works
Communication is a process by which we share our ideas, thoughts and intentions with each other. So, now you know that communication is the way of expressing our thoughts to others, now the question is how we do that. Is language the only medium to do that? No, you can communicate to people via verbal or non-verbal methods.
If you think having good communication skills is only about English speaking, I would suggest to dump the thought in the waste bin and then take a dive here to understand the real meaning and means of communication.
Communication is not only about language, it’s an art of expressing yourself through any means, it could be verbal, nonverbal written or behavioral.
In this article, we’ll focus on the 4 types of communication:
Verbal communication is the use of language to share our thoughts with others. Putting it into simple words, it is the way we speak in our daily life. Verbal communication is also an important part of our professional life, as we use it to give presentations, share ideas, guide team or connect with coworkers, which gives us a place on our office and also leaves an impression on other.
Nonverbal communication is a way to convey information to others via body language, facial expressions or gestures. It can be either intentional or unintentional. This is one of the most crucial things that you should take care of.
Considering the increased use of mails and social media to communicate, written communication becomes a vital means of communication for everyone, from students to professionals.
Visual communication is to communicate with the use of art, charts, drawings or graphs etc. to convey information. Visuals are often used in professional life to share ideas. This form of communications has its own set of benefits that can’t be neglected.
Before we discuss the strategies to improve communication skills, let’s see what the don’ts are for effective communication are.
Avoid These Communication Mistakes
There are a few common mistakes that we make when communicating with others. Here we are discussing a few of these mistakes that we make.
Not Listening / Talking Too Much
Communication is a two-way process, which means you should listen to the other person and speak accordingly. Do not speak too much that you don’t give a chance to others to speak. To express yourself effectively, you need to listen to others. Being a good listener will make you a good speaker. So listen more and talk less.
Weak Writing Skills
Your written communication completely depends on your ability to make use of grammar and the vocabulary. You don’t need to be a master on that, but you shouldn’t be too weak at that. Make sure whatever you write makes sense. There is nothing to worry if you have weak writing skills, I will tell you how you can improve your writing skills.
One-size-fits all Communication
Every person is different, and if you try communicating with everyone in the same way, you must stop doing it right away. The needs and expectation of people vary, so does your way of communication too.
Holding Back Your Thoughts/ Ideas
Don’t fear to go wrong, it’s okay to be wrong; this shouldn’t force you to hold back your ideas. Start speaking and that’s the only way to grow.
The Secret and Effective Tips to Improve Communication Skills
- Practice active listening: Think of the last conversation that you had, and try recalling what you listened. You can’t recall much because you do not listen to others, you just want to speak, speak and speak. The very first rule of being good at communication is that you must listen. Form now on try to listen more, this way the person speaking to you will feel good as well as it will make them feel appreciated.
- Keep distractions on side: When you are in a conversation, always keep you phone on a side, put it on vibration or mute mode for a while. You do this to make the other person know that you are interested in listening to them. Frequently looking into your phone, checking your messages are not the qualities of a good communicator.
- Be prepared for all types of communication: Don’t pull yourself out of a difficult conversation, even is you know nothing about it, try to listen, you will get to know. And speak only after you have understood what people are talking about. Ask questions, or say sorry I don’t know about it, what is it about? And it’s easy to be a part of even a difficult conversation.
- Check what you write before sending: As I said written communication is an important part of today’s life, so check the grammar and spelling before sending any mail or text. You can take help of grammar tools available, but do not completely depend on them.
- Organize, Format, Edit: Organize the information you want to share with others, prepare a format for that, in order to maintain the flow of information and edit it n number of times to ensure it is correct.
- Maintain eye contact: Eye contacts are core of a conversation, as long as you are able to maintain eye contact, someone you are talking to will know you are listening to them.
- Improve your Vocabulary: This is not an overnight process, to improve your vocabulary, read newspapers, read books, watch movies. If you want to improve your English skills, watch cartoon series, they use very easy language and even a beginner can learn.
- Keep a watch on your gestures: Gestures are an important part of communication so make sure you have a control on your gestures which includes the way you look at other person, hand gestures, the way you sit, in a nutshell, its your complete body language that matters. So avoid the common body language mistakes. Your postures send a message to others, so make sure not to slouch when you talk to someone.
- Improve Your Speaking Skills: To speak confidently with others, do mirror practice. Those who are amazing motivational speakers today, they were once like you. So work on yourself and the change will follow.
- Learn from Others: Focus on the way others speak to you, those who you think have amazing communication skills as well as those you hate. Both will teach you do’s and dont’s and this will help improve your communication skills. Right from the verbal to nonverbal communication, you can learn from others.
In this guide, I have discussed what communication means, how it works, what to avoid and tips to improve your communication skills. Like I said effective communication is easy, you just need you be a good listener for that and follow above tips. I hope this guide helps you, do not hesitate to ask questions, all your questions are welcome, drop them in the comments below.