Do you want to build a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship? But do you somewhat feel a lack of confidence about your communication skills? If it describes you, this article will be the solution for you. There are several components you should know in order to communicate with people efficiently and effectively, especially in the business scenes. The accurate communication in the workplace is necessary for the business success. By learning these essential tips, you will be one step closer to be the person who always grabs the opportunities and desired outcomes with the strong, solid relationships.
Step 1: Communication Is Already Started Before Having Conversations
Many people don’t spend their time for the preparation. It is essential, however, to have a clear vision before starting the conversation. Productive conversations are built on the base of well-prepared mindset.
What is your purpose?
In the beginning, try to determine the purposes of the conversation/ communication.
- General purpose: What are you trying to achieve? Informing, persuading, entertaining etc…
- Specific purpose: What is the ideal outcome/ result you are seeking to obtain?
Once you have a clear vision, you will not get lost during the communication. It is also important to prepare the questions you want to ask based on your purposes and desired outcomes.
Mentally prepare yourself
You should be mentally stable whenever you are get into the conversation. Logical thinking and professional attitudes are necessary for the good communication or the desired outcomes.
Negative feelings will take you down
Do not have discussions when you are emotional. Being angry, sad, or upset will interrupt you from logical thinking, and negatively affect the outcomes. Take a deep breath and fully concentrate on the conversation.
Relax and be confident
If you feel anxious or extremely nervous, remember the past successes. It can make you calm down and be confident. In the communication, you need to show the others that you know what you are doing, and that you are confident about it. If you don’t trust yourself, nobody will.
Step 2: Speak Clearly
The way you speak affects if people receive your message exactly as you intend.
Always keep in mind to put necessary points in short statements. If your speech drags on, people are less likely to pay attention to you, which will waste both your time and the others’ time. The clear word choice will be essential when you try to make your point concisely. The meaningless words (such as umm, well, I guess, like, and so on) are also must-avoid components of the communication. It not only results in the lengthy statements, but make you sound less confident.
Don’t be afraid to take pauses
Although you’re supposed to speak concisely, don’t hesitate to take a pause if necessary. When you need a moment to organize your thought, you’d rather have a pause than filling up the gap with meaningless words. Taking pauses also plays a great role to emphasize your point; have a brief silence before stating the important points, and it will give people the stronger impression.
Use We instead of I
The word “We” makes the others feel that they are part of the story. Also, David Burkus introduces his research in Harvard Business Review, saying that “we” pronoun can lead you to be more others-focused instead of self-focused perspective.
Summarize your point & Ask for recap
End your speaking with a brief summary of your point. In addition, asking people to repeat your points is extremely helpful in order to avoid misunderstandings. It may sounds too much, but it is not; nothing is more unwelcome than miscommunications.
Step 3: If You Want To Be A Good Speaker, Be A Great Listener
Focus on the others and their messages to ensure that you understand their perspectives or viewpoints. You don’t want to make the hasty judgments without listening to them until the end. By avoiding interruption, you will not only prevent yourself from miscommunication, but also show the respect to the speaker. On top of that, nobody would enjoy the conversation when they’re interrupted all the time.
Don’t wander from the subject too often
Before you tell your opinions or ask questions, make sure that it is not off the topic. The communication will not flow smoothly if your topic moves one after another. Be patient and wait for the right timing. The off topic questions also make the speakers uncomfortable; they will be unsure if you receive their messages accurately, or they may feel that you are not listening to them at all.
Briefly recap & Ask questions
After the other people finish talking, concisely summarize their points to make sure that there is no misunderstanding. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you find any unclear point. In the communication, it is essential to understand each other accurately, and to avoid any miscommunication.
Step 4: Your Body Can Deliver Your Messages
Show them that you are into the conversation
Make eye contact frequently to show people that you are interested in what they are talking about. In addition, smile and nod can tell them that you are understanding their points without interrupting them.
Open body language
Avoid crossing arms or legs. People might think that you are not interested in the conversation, or that you have a hostility toward them.
Preferable body language may differ depending on the culture
Open body language, smile, and eye contact are generally give the positive impression to the others. However, keep it in mind that the preferable body language is different from country to country. For example, in some countries, people feel uncomfortable to make eye contact. This world has been globalized rapidly these days, and we can no longer avoid communicating with people who have different backgrounds. The quick research about basic cultural differences will be helpful to avoid miscommunications.