What is Effective Communication?
Communication is one of the key aspects that can help you elevate your career in a positive direction. Effective communication can help you to align what you say and what the audience perceives. Polishing your communication skills can help you achieve milestones in your career and improve your relationships as well. Putting your message in a humble yet uncomplicated manner can be of great help. It makes relationships stronger!
Communication often seems natural. But sometimes amid the conversation with others, something can go off the track. There comes a break that can spoil the essence of the conversation. This can cause frustration, misunderstandings, and conflicts and cause problems at home, school, and work.
For most of us, communication requires learning some important skills. They are important in the day-to-day life. These skills can be used to improve communication with your kids, spouse, co-workers, or boss. The result can deepen the relationships, build greater trust and respect, and improve teamwork.
Quite often, people might have different opinion than yours. If the audience (team members, family or friends or listeners in any form) disagrees with you and your views, discussing it further can help a lot. The key is to talk it out in a right manner for positive results.
What can stop you from having effective communication?
There are a few common barriers to effective communication:
In a stressful condition, you are likely to mislead people or send confusing non-verbal signals. To avoid any disruption or conflict, you can learn to calm down yourself to have effective communication. Knowing to control emotions and reflecting appropriately is the most important thing. So, learn to be calm and handle the conversations peacefully.
Lack of focus
When multitasking, communication cannot be possible. Miscommunication and misunderstandings are the results of alack of focus. In order to communicate effectively, it is good to be focused and avoid distractions as much as possible. Lack of focus can give a negative effect, so it is better to have concentration while communicating with another person.
Conflicting body language
Your body language says a lot about you. If you say one thing, but your body language says something else, then it can create problems. For example, you cannot say yes while nodding your head no. So, it is better to be confident and do not let your body language contradict with what you say. The negative impression can lead to bad experiences, so make sure you communicate in a way that the listener does not get offended.
Effective communication skill #1: Become a good listener
Communication binds us all together. Communicating with others brings positivity. But, do you know that listening is also one of the skills you should adopt? Listening does not mean understanding only the words, but understanding the emotions as well. There is a huge difference between engaged listening and just hearing. When you are an engaged listener, you can not only understand better but get an idea of what the conversation is all about. Follow the tips to become a good listener:
- Focus on the speaker
- Show your interest
- Set aside judgment
Effective communication skill #2: Pay attention to non-verbal signals
Your actions depict more about you than your words. Non-verbal communication or body language comprises facial expression, posture, gestures, the tone of the voice, and even your breathing. Using non-verbal communication can help connect with others better. It can help you in expressing and navigating challenging conditions.
- The better way to enhance effective communication is by using open body language – arms crossed, sitting on the edge of the seat, or standing with an open posture.
- You can use body language to improve your communication such as patting a mate on the back while complimenting him for his achievement.
Follow the tips to read non-verbal communication:
- Be aware of individual difference
- Pay attention to the signals as a group
Follow the tips to deliver non-verbal communication:
- Use those signals that can match-up your words
- Adjust those signals as per the context
Effective communication skill #3: Keep stress in check
Feeling stress during a disagreement with kids, spouse, boss, friends and co-workers is natural. If you can calm yourself and ease out the stress, you can avoid regrets and in some cases, can calm down the other person as well. Learn to manage your emotions when facing an interview, giving a business presentation, attending high-pressure meetings, etc. Think on your feet, and communicate effectively under such conditions. Managing stress under such conditions can help you do well and win conversations.
Follow the tips to keep stress in check:
- Pause to collect your thoughts
- Deliver your words carefully
- Make one point
- Use stalling tactics
- Wrap up with a summary
Quick stress relief for effective communication
- Take some time to calm down
- Look for humour in the situation
- Be ready to compromise
- Agree to disagree
Effective communication skill #4: Assert yourself
The assertive expression makes clear communication and can help enhance self-esteem and decision-making skills. Expressing your thoughts confidently is a way of assertive communication. It does not mean being aggressive, demanding, or hostile. It is about understanding the other person without forcing your opinions on them.
Tips to improve your assertiveness:
- Know your needs
- Convey negative thoughts in a positive way
- Learn to say ‘no’
- Value your opinions
How to improve communication skills?
With continuous practice, you can learn to improve communication skills. You can start by recognizing your strengths and then practice and develop the areas. To receive an objective opinion, ask a trusted friend for honest feedback. Understanding the areas of improvement for communication can help in focusing better.
Practice on improving communication habits
Some of the communication skills are habits that can be developed over time. You can improve them by practicing to be a better communicator. These include making eye contact, practicing giving good feedback, being more responsive to communications when they are sent, and asking questions in conversations.
Attend communication classes
Nowadays, there are several online communication skills classes that can help you become a better communicator. Some of them are free of cost yet quite productive. They are easily available online and are advantageous during these unprecedented times. You can take the help of your friends or colleagues as well. Stay productive!
Search for opportunities to communicate
If you want to become a good communicator, seek opportunities that require you to use communication skills. This can help in improving existing skills and allow practicing new ones. You can discuss this with your colleagues or seniors who can guide you. There are ample opportunities available; you just need to search for them to become effective.
Benefits of effective communication:
Effective communication reduces misunderstanding. It can be dangerous for your relationships to sustain, so keeping your communication aligned can prove to be beneficial. Keeping this in mind can save you from disagreements and conflicts.
- Creates a non-threatening environment
Well, creating a non-threatening environment can help you and everyone to share their views freely and without any hesitation. This way, people from different cultures and backgrounds can share their views without feeling hesitant about anything.
A strong communication channel helps to build trust and creates relationships healthier. It can solve many problems and promotes the desire to work towards a common goal.
- Increases self-esteem and confidence
Your effective communication skills can help you win the hearts of people.It elevates your confidence and self-esteem. Making most of your communication can also help in keeping your thoughts aligned.
Effective communication can help you build stronger relationships with ease. It helps you maintaining your rapport and a strong network.
These 5 crucial communication skills can be advantageous in not only keeping your conversations aligned but helping you in achieving the best for your organization.
The five C’s of Effective Communication
In order to communicate effectively, it is important to be clear with your message. Before starting a conversation, make sure you are clear about what you want and need from the other person.
Keep your conversations to the point. You need to focus on the point and move forward. Less complicated communications, the better. Today, nobody has that much of time, so it is good to make your conversation of few words. Make it concise and easy to understand. This can help the listener to reply to your message easily.
Provide a compelling request
If you feel dismissed in a meeting, first ask the other person if there is any problem. Then you can ask how you might resolve it, and request to be listened. Be involved in the conversation and share thoughts on the topic to provide important feedback.
It is better to be curious about what other person needs. Be curious about what the other person’s problems and objectives are. The other person may also have needs and problems that need to be addressed. Curiosity helps in understanding the other person better. Ensure to have a good conversation with teh person to know what he wants. This in return can help in keeping the relationship stronger.
It is good to understand the other person. Listen carefully and put your assumption to the side. This can lead to more trusting relationships and people get involved naturally. Have an ability to understand, feel, recognize and appreciate. This can resolve conflicts and help in managing tough decisions. Understand what it would take for both the parties to get a positive outcome. Keep it simple yet compassionate. Respect others and their feelings. After all, relationships are important and have great significance in life.
A dynamic way of communication is the essential skill to develop. It is beneficial in every sphere of life. Understand that communication binds and connects people in a powerful way. Make sure you make your point in front of others. This can result in an open conversation and successful negotiation. Communication is the key to influence and create great good teams and relationships. Practice it and you can succeed.
You must work hard on your communication skills to get what you want. You can achieve it with confidence and determination. You need to ensure that you are respectful enough and listen to what others say.
Other than this, there are various communication skills training available that can be helpful. Research for them and lead in every sphere of life.
We at Leadership Consulting Pvt Ltd (a BYLD Group Company) are the authorized partners of VitalSmarts US. Explore our crucial skills trainings, based on scientific research on human behavior and prove effective in bringing about real behavioral change that leads to organizational effectiveness through skill development training.