Part II - 5 Strategies to Better Communication Skills
When asked, “Are you a good listener?” most people fire off a quick, “Yes, of course.” What many fail to realize, however, is that hearing is only half the battle. Maybe even less than that. Listening well includes not only grasping the words but understanding the underlying messages as well. And some folks still don’t get that effective communication is every bit as much—if not more—about listening than talking.
Admitting the need for a bit of improvement in the communication department is the first step toward becoming a better communicator. When your skills improve and you model those skills in your connections with others, your actions will encourage others to improve their skills.
These five strategies will ramp up your communication effectiveness.
Inattention is the worst enemy of communication. Clear your mind, focus your physical attention on the person/written documentation/video presentation and zero in on each of these aspects: tone, body language, wording, subtle clues.
“Listening with one ear” as the saying goes, while checking text messages, proofing a report, or doodling a shopping list is a sure-fire way to miss nonverbal cues and any underlying message. Put everything else away and simply focus.
Relocate to a quiet office, a corner of the break room, or wherever to lessen the distraction of other conversations. Have you ever tried to listen in on a nearby discussion when you should be totally engaged in a different conversation? You know you have. Remove the temptation.
Even if every bone in your body is screaming, “But wait!” Resist the urge to interrupt. Instead jot down a few words, at most a sentence, to alleviate the fear you might forget the thought stomping through your brain. When a natural break occurs, then it’s your turn to share.
Not every conversation is stunningly stimulating. That’s life. But when you convey genuine interest and engage in what’s being said—hear it, feel it, take it all in—your actions will help the communicator do a better job. A speaker is more open and relaxed when they sense your interest in the conversation.
Nod, smile, make eye contact, exhibit open, inviting body language, and insert small verbal comments as these actions will encourage the speaker to continue.
A giant leap toward resolving communication barriers is the extending of the gift of time. Being heard without an invisible stopwatch hanging over their head is something persons of every age value.
With practice and consistent effort, communication skills can be impacted dramatically for the better. Remember the words of Lee Iacocca -- “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”
At MPS Technical
, it’s our honed listening skills that enable us to connect you with the best position in the best company for your needs. We ask the right questions: Who are you? What are your values? Skills? Training? Experience? What’s your personality? What culture best fits you? Then we take the time to put the pieces together. Contact one of our convenient locations today.