Most people know that communication is important. Most of us know that communiction is a two way stream. Well, I guess you can still communicate alone but then people will look at you funny and think you have lost it. Generally one person has to talk and the other has to listen. These two sides of communication impact each other, and they are both very essential. So, how are your conversation skills? Are you a smooth and confident talker, or do you ramble with fear? Are you an attentive listener, or do you tend to interrupt all the time?
I remember one succesful Hollyhood guy being asked about what he could do different if he were to start again. He said he would learn to communicate effectively at an early age. I personally have seen many people come to interviews, I mean people who are smart on paper with distinctions but then they fail to sell themsleves. Make sure you sell yourself or your product effectively by learning thes ten communication skills.
First as a talker…..
Get your thinking straight
The first rule of plain talk is to think before you say anything. Organize your thoughts. A cluttered mind often does not make sense. Spend most of your time listerning and do more thinking so that you can organise things you want to say. A saying goes like. Silence is golden but…..
Say what you mean
Do not beat around the bush. Say exactly what you mean. Straight to the point. I was in one meeting where the chair asked whether we approve or not. This is a simple question that needs a yes or no. The one colleague elaborated and spoke for about 10 minutes and at the end we where not sure whethere he approved or not. This is what waste a lot of time in meetings. Fo most people is difficult to say “No”so they would rather masaage the “No”.
We all have unique personalities and a way of doing things. Allow your personality to come out and be the real you. Don’t try to mould your accent or behave like your role model. Remember the listener has to meet you halfway too and try to understand you. Being fake is just a turn off and most people once they pick that they don’t even listern anymore.
Use the body language appropriately
Use your body parts to support your words. The cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words is true. People relate better to images. For example if you are saying something is small try to deomonstrate small with your hands. If you say I was so excited then let your face show that excitement. Imagine someone telling you a story of how excited thay are and yet their face show depression. You will find them difficult to follow and even to believe.
As we said there are two sides, here is what you can do when you are the listerner
Listerning is a skill. As they say most people retain about 25% of what they hear. To increaste that percentage you need to pay attention and listern with attentively. Don’t listern with an intention to respond – listern with an intention to learn something. I once say a sticker saying “When you’re talking, you ain’t learning.” So, try by all means to learn from everyone you come across.
Listern with your eyes
The Sepedi expression says “Ditaba di mahlong”loosely translated means the news are from looking through the eyes. When listening watch the feelings and facial expression of the listern and also show with your facial expressions that you are attentitve. When someone is telling you about their pay let your face show that you feel their pain and genuinely so.
Give close attention to the speaker
When listerning try to give 100% attention to the speaker. I use to suffer with this one but I am improving. For eample, I use to type while someone was speaking to me and I would consistently assure them how multi taksing I am. This is a serious trun off. Better to stop everything and talk to them. This happens so frequentlu these days with cell phones. You approach someone and while your are talking they will be busy texting someone else. If you are busy alert the speaker that you are busy.
Asking questions show that you are interested. I struggle with these one and I think men in general are not good like women. Most of the time I listern attentively very quite with eyes wide opened with making any remark. I realised it is better to make those remarks like ohh bathong, serious, Jesus, and then…. This help communicat the speaker that you are into what they are saying.
Be welcoming and make it easy for people to approach you and speak to you. A simple thing to avoid is to fold your hands when someone is in front of you talking to you. Folded hands seem to not be a welcoming sign. Open hands are welcoming. Another welcoming sing is eye contact. Assume you are talking to me and I am looking the other way. That tells you to finish quicker and get out of my face. Just watch your body posture and assume the body postrure that you believe is welcoming.
To your success…