Communication is everything. But not everyone knows what it takes to be a great communicator. Let’s just it takes more than words.
Skilled communicators can incite change, influence people, and inspire entire groups. With one speech, they can compel an audience to action. And in the same way, poor communicators can limit their team’s potential.
Communication is key to leading change and reaching goals. If we’re honest, all of us would love to have the ability to be better communicators. After all, who wouldn’t want to inspire their team to greatness?
But it’s not as easy as it looks.
It takes more than charisma and personality to make a great communicator. This article will show you 6 ways to build your skills and communicate better.
Let’s get started.
#1: Communicate with More than Words.
To be a great communicator, you must realize that it takes more than words. In many ways, words have little to do with communication. Dr. Albert Mehrabian breaks down communication into specific parts. He suggests that being a skilled communicator is more about what you’re not saying vs. what is coming out of your mouth. He insists that human communication is 7 percent spoken words, 38 percent tone of voice, and 55 percent body language.
Communication is not a performance. It’s about your body language, listening skills, and ability to relate with your employees. This goes far beyond your oration.
Remember, communication is not about presenting the best TED Talk. It’s aligning your body language, tone of voice, and speech to utter the same purpose––it’s a harmonious decision. When you match these three aspects, you can sway people with your speech and inspire your team because you’re presenting your whole self. This is why it’s essential to be yourself. This leads us to our next point.
#2: Communicate by Being Yourself.
Communication has nothing to do with feeling confident in the spotlight. Some of the most powerful communicators are shy, prefer to stay on the sidelines, and are the first to leave the party and curl up with their cats.
Okay. That last example might have been a stretch, but you get my point.
Michael Jordan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harrison Ford, Charles Darwin, and David Letterman all consider themselves introverts. However, these individuals are excellent communicators. They can invoke a response, inspire crowds, and motivate audiences to reach further than they thought possible. These influencers make people feel confident because they’re comfortable in their skin.
If you can pair your words, actions, and intentions, then you not only make a great orator. You make a great leader.
Communication is about the ability to inspire everyone in the room. To do that, you need to be comfortable with the person looking back at you in the mirror.
When you can affirm who you are, you gain the ability to communicate from a place of honesty.
#3: Communicate to be Heard.
Communication isn’t able what needs to be said. We all have something to say. But one of the most important things that you can do is figure out the why and the how behind your words.
Think of your message like a passenger in a vehicle. You can’t just stuff 150 clowns into a Toyota and expect it to reach its destination in a timely matter. The same is true for communication. If you have something to say to your team, figure out what vehicle is best to hold the contents and get your point across.
You don’t need to pack a monologue in an email.
The next time you have to communicate your thoughts to your team, ask yourself these three questions:
- Do I have to say this in person, or can I present this via email?
- How can I shorten this message to respect my team’s time?
- If I was the one on the other end of the phone, what would I want to hear?
#4. Listen Actively.
Listening plays a huge role in communication. In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of being an effective communicator. Good listening skills can help you gain insight and understand different perspectives. It can also make people feel heard and respected.
When someone is speaking, actively listen to what they are saying. Take mental notes and ask questions to engage in meaningful conversations.
For instance, if you’re having a meeting with your team members, don’t just wait for your turn to speak. Pay attention and acknowledge the other person’s opinion.
Also, try not to focus on what they are saying wrong but rather on what they are saying right. This will encourage them to be open and honest when sharing their thoughts and opinions with you.
#5: Avoid Making Assumptions.
Making assumptions can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and disagreement. Whenever you communicate with someone, always ask clarifying questions and re-confirm statements or opinions before making any assumptions.
For example, if a colleague mentions that they are having trouble with their project, don’t just assume that they know what the solution is. Ask them what resources they need to move forward, how you can help them solve the problem, and provide suggestions on how to overcome the obstacle.
This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal.
#6: Own Your Communication Style.
Your communication style should be as unique as your fingerprint! And it’s important to remember that your communication style can evolve and change over time.
Take some time to reflect on the way you communicate with others. Are there any areas that you need to work on? Do you have trouble connecting with a certain group of people? Identifying your strengths and weaknesses will help you become more aware of how your words affect those around you.
Once you have an understanding of yourself, practice speaking your truth in all interactions. Practicing authenticity will not only make you a better communicator but also make it easier for others to understand where you stand in conversations.
Owning your communication style shows confidence and self-awareness, two qualities that are essential for effective communication! And once you’ve mastered these skills, the sky’s the limit. Good luck!
With these six simple tips, you’ll be able to communicate more effectively and build your skills. Whether it’s in a meeting with your team members, or in an email exchange with a client – plan ahead, be concise, listen actively, avoid assumptions, and own your communication style – and you’ll see the results in no time! Communication doesn’t have to be overwhelming; take it one step at a time and watch how far you’ll go.