Do you remember the children’s game ‘Chinese Whisper’, also known as ‘telephone’? In this game, one person’s message would be passed along a line of people, and in the end, a completely different message would end up. This childhood game is the reality of adulthood. Miscommunication happens every day at work or at home.
Communication is key and being a strong communicator will get you far in life. While not everyone is a natural communicator, there are proven ways to improve your communication skills. Here are 10 ways:-
To be a good communicator, you must first be a good listener. Communication breaks down when one of the parties involved is not listening properly. By paying attention, you will get every important detail of communication and also improve how to communicate well in return.
Be to the point
Most miscommunication occurs when there is too much unnecessary information. Keep your communication brief without discounting its importance. This applies to both written and oral communication. For written communication, proofreading and for verbal communication, practice saying only what is important for the conversation.
Know your listener
You need to know who you are communicating with and you need to guess what type of communication they will understand. For example, if you are communicating with a colleague or a senior, informal language should obviously not be used. Also, if you use abbreviations, you can’t assume that the other person will understand immediately. So know your listener.
Assertive and active voice
The language you use in communication should be assertive and active. This form of language immediately catches the listener’s or reader’s attention. Your every word will be picked up and the right message will be delivered.
The body language
Body language is a great way to communicate without words, but it still has a profound impact. When participating in a video conference call or in-person meeting, maintain positive body language such as an open posture and eye contact. The other reads subconsciously and his body language also becomes positive.
People assume they haven’t made a mistake and hit send on their written communication. Do not do it. Check what you’ve written once or twice before sending. One tip is to not proofread immediately after writing. Errors are harder to spot. Take a little break, rest your eyes, and then proofread.
When someone communicates with you, take the important points of the communication. This is a very simple but effective way to ensure that there is no miscommunication.
Watch your tones
Most misunderstandings occur because none of the parties involved spoke in the right tone. Don’t be too loud, don’t be too soft, and don’t be rude or condescending. Always communicate with everyone politely and with respect.
The right frame of mind
When you are going to communicate, make sure you are in the right frame of mind. Fatigue, frustration, sadness, and anger, among a host of other emotions, can get in the way of what you want to communicate. Just make sure you are positive or at least neutral.
Communicate directly with the person you have in mind. In many organizations, communication channels are created with many unnecessary people passing messages. As we know from the Chinese Whisper game, this doesn’t work when there are too many people. Communicate directly with the person you have in mind.
Communication is something that has a major impact on our personal and work lives. It needs to be taken seriously. And always remember that some of the most successful and happiest people in life are great communicators.