No matter the industry in which you work, speaking with others is part of the deal. Whether dealing with clients, employees, business partners, or people in your business network, communication is key. However, it is more than simply talking. When communicating with others you want to ensure that your message is being heard, and that your words and their meaning are clear. Today, let’s chat about some tips to help you communicate effectively.
Consider your language
When speaking with others, we can get carried away with our words, meaning that our intent gets lost in the shuffle. Therefore, when communicating with others, especially when it comes to telling someone about what you do, the value you bring, and how working together can be beneficial, you want to be sure that you are intentional with your language. In many cases, less is often more. So, keep your listener interested by being engaging, informative, and clear in what you are saying. Try to avoid jargon or unnecessary anecdotes that simply muddle your message.
Speak face to face
While we understand this isn’t always the easiest way to communicate, when you can, speak to others face to face. If you are wanting to build a true, and valuable connection with someone, this is best done when you can see one another’s body language and look each other in the eye. So often, messages sent via email or text can be misunderstood or misinterpreted, which can lead to issues in communication. When speaking to someone in person, you can engage more purposefully and be fully present.
Be a good listener
Communication is a two-way street. We are sure that you have dealt with individuals who simply can’t wait for their turn to speak during a conversation. Rather than absorbing any of the information you are conveying, they are waiting to pounce the second you finish your sentence! These types of interactions can be frustrating and often lead to breakdown in communication as well as the relationship.
Be an engaged and active listener. Ensure you are using nonverbal communication such as smiling, nodding your head, maintaining comfortable eye contact, and paying close attention to your posture. Ask questions and respond with thoughtful words to acknowledge and validate what they are saying.
One study found that we only retain about half of what people say, and that is immediately after they have told us! So, keep your mouth closed and your ears open!
This one can be tricky, especially since we live in a world where we are constantly connected to one another. However, dedicating an hour or two to someone who you wish to build, or sustain a relationship with, isn’t a hard task. Put your phone on silent, meet somewhere (or call) from a place that is free of noise and possible distractions. When you offer your undivided time and attention to someone, you are showing that you value and respect them and your relationship.
If you are expecting an important phone call, communicate that with the other person. This way, they won’t feel like you are uninterested if you need to check your phone or excuse yourself to speak with someone else.
Communication plays a large role in networking, and in business. For some, it comes rather naturally. For others, it requires a bit of extra effort. However, by communicating with purpose, listening intently, and validating the relationships you have with others, you will be an effective communicator in no time!