Communicating with others can be a daunting prospect. Sometimes we let our doubts and shortcomings work against our better interests by not pushing ourselves to work past that which hinders us. But when you break it down, communication is a relatively easy thing to accomplish. Here are some ways to quickly build your skills and communicate without wasting time on frivolous advice.
SIZE UP WHO YOU ARE TALKING TO
If you know ahead of time who will be conversing with, try to prepare as best as you can, focusing on the precise phrasing of the things you want to say, the points you wish to make, and the overall benchmarks that you need to cover to make the conversation a success. Clarity, forethought, and precision are crucial to good communication skills.
WATCH FOR THE CUES
Pay close attention to verbal and non-verbal indicators your conversation partner utilizes in the course of the discussion. Look at the other person’s body language, posture, facial expression, and whether or not they maintain eye contact with you. Also, try to glean the inflection in their voice and the words they choose to use for clues as to how interested they are in the conversation. If you sense any problems, adjust as best you can.
REALIZE YOUR STRENGTHS, AND PLAY TO THEM
No one is good at doing everything. Some are skilled at oratory, others are not. Some are great at written communication while others are adept at conveying their intent through non-verbal means. Find the method you are most proficient with while communicating and do your best to enhance it. Strengthen your strengths. Practice, of course, makes perfect.
BE A GOOD AUDIENCE
The easiest way to be a better communicator is to pay attention to what others are trying to tell you. I know it can be tough to do so with your wife or husband or people at work! You cannot respond intelligently if you aren’t grasping what your counterpart is trying to tell you. Maintain eye contact as best as you can while the other person is speaking, and maintain focus what they are saying. Try to keep yourself from thinking of ways to respond or of what you wish to say when it is your turn, because you will surely miss what you need to hear.
REMEMBER, IT’S A TWO-WAY STREET
If a conversation is not going well, feel free to politely end it. It is not solely up to you to keep it afloat simply for the sake of it. This goes back to reading the verbal and non-verbal cues of your counterpart. If you are getting the distinct vibe that no matter what you do, the other person just isn’t keeping up their end of the conversation, thank them for their time and walk away.