Effective communication is when you are being understood and you are able to get your message across to anyone you communicate with. Moreover, your sufficient understanding of another person’s message also denotes good communication ability.
Good and healthy communication per se is a two-way process. One person talks, the other one listens and vice-versa. If you are doing the talking all by yourself, that does not make you an effective communicator. You may even turn out to be a conversation “monopolizer”.
Your communication skills are very essential in enhancing interpersonal skills. Facing and talking with different people, giving your opinions about any topic brought to the table, and initiating conversations are just a few examples of how effective communication must be demonstrated. In developing people skills, building your communication ability is one of the fundamental steps you should consider. Start with your speaking skills and then level up to the more complicated aspects such as resolving conflicts, negotiating, and persuading.
Develop Genuine Listening Ability
Communication is not just about effective speaking. You also have to have active listening abilities for a mutual understanding of what you wish to convey. People tend to forget that to become an effective communicator, you also have to be a good listener. There are instances when you just want to own the entire conversation before you start running out of ideas, failing to check if the other party was able to get your message or not. In simple ways you too can develop good listening.
- Focus on the person you are talking to and give your undivided attention.
- Provide short spoken feedback to show that you are listening.
- Demonstrate proper facial expressions and gestures as a way of understanding of what is being said.
- Ask questions to show interest on the subject matter.
- Paraphrase for clarification and verification of your understanding of what is being talked about.
Practice Daily Communication
Encourage yourself to express your ideas verbally and not hesitate to speak up in a group conversation or even just with a partner. It is a good start to develop your communication skills. Once you will be heard, then you will find out what people think of you, how they react or respond to your views, and how well you are able to carry on with the conversation. Here are few tips to practice daily communication:
- Learn how to initiate conversations. Do not feel comfortable with silence and dull moments. Break the silence by presenting a topic or a subject matter that would spark interest to the other party.
- Actively respond to questions and soliciting of opinions. Grab every chance to speak your mind whenever you get to.
- Make it a point to engage in an exchange of ideas every day with anyone in your office, at home, or with friends.
- Join speaking sessions or organizations that focus on making effective speakers out of its members such as the internationally known Toastmasters Club.
Polish Communication Elements
In communicating, confidence is needed to effectively express yourself. Some people lack self-confidence in talking to others because of certain issues in communication. It could be that they have lapses in pronunciation, maybe in their sentence construction, or in their poor choice of words that hinder them from freely expressing themselves. They are scared of criticisms, and so they would rather stay quiet than talk and be criticized for their mistakes. How can you work on your communication flaws?
- Read aloud in English for at least twenty minutes a day.
- Do pronunciation drills especially for those words that you have a hard time pronouncing. There are online sites that will provide you with the correct pronunciation of words.
- Keep watch of your rate of speech. Your pace should be moderate, not too fast nor too slow.
- Maintain an upbeat and enthusiastic tone of voice. A lousy speaker does not get the attention of the listeners.
- Check your voice volume. Make sure that you speak audibly enough to be heard clearly by your listener.
Polishing your communication skills is a gradual process. With constant practice and exposure, you are sure to develop your ability to communicate and make yourself an effective speaker.