Ways to Communicate Effectively

Of all the animals that inhabit this planet, human beings are the only ones that are blessed with the ability to communicate through words. Naturally, words are an integral part of expressing our thoughts and emotions. However, effective communication is what sets you apart from other individuals both in personal life as well as professional career. Effective communication is a must for everyone who hopes to climb the ladder of success. It is not something that you can leave to destiny. You have to work real hard to improve your communication skills and get your point across.

Tips to Communicate Effectively

There is a subtle difference between good communication skills and an effective communication. Good communication skills are highly influenced by the personality and idiosyncrasies of the person while effective communication gives a peek into the soul of the speaker and helps him connect with his audience on an emotional level. This article focuses on ways to communicate effectively.

Gather Your Thoughts
Before you are ready to talk to the intended person or address a group of people, you should have a clear vision about what you are going to talk about. Although, a printed copy of a speech may not be always necessary, highlighting a few important issues in your mind is a must. This will help you to remain focused throughout your communication and alleviate the possibilities of drifting away from the main issues. You can make a mental note of any three important issues, so that even if you fumble with one, you can have the other two to back you up.

Choose Your Words
Choice of words is the most important part of any communication. There is no need to go for flowery phrases or alien terms to attract your audience’s attention. Instead, choose simple, precise words that are appropriate for the issue you are addressing. Needless to say, offensive words or words that could demean your audience in any way are best kept out of the communication. This is also the very first step of communicating effectively in a relationship. Most people tend to be careful about their language while at work, but as soon as they get home they resort to colorful language. This may hurt your loved ones beyond your imagination.

Voice Modulation
Another important aspect of effective communication is the technique of modulating your voice at appropriate places. Drab, monotonous voice takes only a few seconds for your audience to shift their focus away from you. Similarly, high pitched or sing song voice takes away the seriousness of the issue that you are addressing. Thus, modulate your voice appropriately and pause at strategic places to allow your audience to absorb your ideas. If possible, evoke the interest of your audience by asking them questions or inviting their opinions. This will keep them engrossed in your talk.

Body Language
Many people mistake body language with sign language and end up making a fool of themselves. Remember, there is no need to enact every word you utter with a gesture or facial expression. This will make your talk more of a stage performance and defeat its purpose. Body language essentially means maintaining eye contact (only with right people!) and using hand gestures only wherever required. You can definitely do without hand gestures, but then make sure your eyes convey your emotions. Needless to say, rude or obscene gestures should be avoided in all circumstances.

Listen
Remember, communication is an exchange of ideas, thus, it should be always two way. Hence, in an effective communication, the other person should have an equal say. Thus, once you are done with your part, listen intently to what other person has to say. Do not have any preconceived notions, even before the other person opens his mouth to speak, as this won’t serve the purpose of communication. Thus, be open to other people’s suggestions and ideas and give them a thought before dismissing. Listening forms an integral part of the workplace communication.

Concentrate
No matter if you are delivering a lecture or listening to someone talking, it is of utmost importance that you focus on that activity only. Get rid of all distractions such as phone before you begin communication. A distraction not only disturbs your focus, but it also causes your audience’s attention to wander.

These were the main principles of effective communication. One thing that you must understand is that effective communication is a gradual process and requires efforts on your part. Similarly, the other party should show an equal desire and involvement for any communication to succeed.

Simple Ways of Communication

It is a creative and vigorous unceasing process, rather than a brief exchange of information. This art and technique of imparting knowledge is a two-way procedure, and feedback is of critical importance for its completion. It is conducted between or among two or more personage. The system of sending information involves barter of ideas, feelings, information, thoughts, and knowledge by verbal (speech) or non-verbal (writing, behavior or signals) types of communication.

☞ Guidelines to Master Interpersonal Correspondence

Possessing competent communication proficiency is imperious for success in today’s fast-paced life. It revolves around the relevant utilization of words, pace of delivery of words, voice control and body language. Apt contrivances should be administered to pass the right data at the right time for retrieval from quandaries. Communication protocols are codes of behavior or conduct and can be either written, oral, or through body language. A few of the techniques required for emphatic information transmission are discussed further in the article.

Audience Awareness
To be able to construct a passage to communicate efficiently, the receiver of the information or the audience should be well-analyzed beforehand. The following pointers should be adhered to:

  • Attain a rough idea of the strength of the prospective audience.
  • Age, sex, background and interest of the listeners should be given its due attention.
  • Develop interpersonal relation with the receiver.
  • The audience should not be able to question your knowledge on the subject.
  • Include the element of humor; it helps in connecting with the target audience.
  • Do not get distracted by the activities performed by the audience like smiling, whispering,etc.
  • Interact with the audience and give them a chance to put up their queries.

Engage Your Audience
An audience is concurrently processing both verbal and non-verbal cues. Body agitations are not generally positive or negative in and of themselves; rather, the situation and the message determines the appraisal. Orators, incapable to exhibit apt body stance convey incongruous attitude and are ignored or kept at bay; while those efficiently equipped with them are looked upon and well respected.

☞ Speak through the eyes
Whether you are speaking or listening, indulge in visual communication with the receiver to make the interaction more thriving. Eye contact exhibits interest and urges your partner to pursue you in return.

☞ Use gestures
Gesticulation with hands and face contribute to effective communication. Let the whole body talk with appropriate actions. Soft gestures should be exhibited for individuals and small groups; more prominent ones should be used for a larger set of audience.

☞ Body language
Body language can portray much more than a morsel of words. A welcoming mien with pacified arms indicate compliance, wherein hunched shoulders and crossed arms demonstrate reluctance towards striking a conversation. Often, communions cease even before they are initiated pertaining to the inappropriate bodily gestures. Assuming a suitable posture and cordial carriage, structures an easy flow of dialog.

☞ Constructive attitude
The attitude that accompanies the discussion affects your interaction with others. Favor patience, honesty, optimism, acceptance and sincerity in respect to the audience.

☞ Effective listening skills
Acquiring proficient vocalizing skills is essential but not adequate; realizing the importance of efficacious listening and practicing it is of pivotal relevance. Refrain from the impulse to hark the other in a limited and prejudiced fashion, but pay unimpaired attention.

☞ Appearance
An individual’s physical appearance and attire create a definite impact. This is because, people create an opinion about what they get to see from the physical appearance and respond in accordance with it.

Choose Your Words
Cherry pick the words. Proper usage of appropriate and apt words is of utmost importance. Some of the pointers to be summoned before starting a conversation are:

☞ Enunciate your words
Speak distinctly and avoid murmuring. If people are always asking you to repeat yourself, try to do a better job of articulating yourself in a better manner.

☞ Pronounce your words correctly
Accurate pronunciation of words with due stresses wherever required must be practiced. Competency is judged through the vocabulary; thus if skeptical about a particular word, the usage should be avoided.

☞ Use the right words
Exempt from using the words for which the meaning is not known. This is so that the words communicated are easily understood by the listener. Preferably, speak in a formal tone until you get acquainted with the person you are having a conservation with.

☞ Slow your speech down
The speed with which the words are thrown must be such that audience can keep pace with them and are able to understand the orator. However, the speaker should be careful not to slow down to the point where the audience begins to complete the sentences just to help him finish.

Use Your Voice
A piping or raucous voice is not perceived to be one of authority. Thus, the orator should be conscious of the pitch and adhere to modulation of voice. Few of the key points to bear in mind are:

☞ Develop your voice
An acute or mellow voice can make the speaker sound like a prey to an belligerent colleague or incline others not to take you seriously. Proper variation in pitch and pace of the voice improves the quality of speech.

☞ Animate your voice
Refrain from adhering to a monotone, that is, a single unvaried pitch level in speech and instead use a vigorous and animated tone. The timbre of the voice pitch should escalate and soften periodically; radio jockeys are an apt example of the same.

☞ Use appropriate volume
Speak in a subdued tone when communicating upfront in person and when you’re alone and close; on the other hand, try to speak vehemently and in a high tone when addressing a large group.

Since the world is so preposterously distinct and contrasting, it offers a colossal range of means to communicate. It is essential to know and adhere to the various interpersonal skills to enhance the quality and output of the intended communication. The ability to express, will manifold every day with regular application and follow-up of the few key points discussed earlier in the article.

How to Improve Communication Skills

Having good communication skills is really important in every walk of life. For instance, they can help you to get a good job, perform better at the workplace, create a better impression about yourself, you can stand out in a crowd, and you can also improve your relationships with others. The right method of communication is therefore very important in whatever you do. Good communication skills can help you overcome the basic complexities that you may face in certain tasks of life.
So, have you ever thought how high you rate on your communication skills? Well, the process of improving these skills is really an ongoing affair. Here are some effective ways to improve communication skills that can help you to bring about a change in many aspects of your life.

If you have really poor communication skills and can’t seem to get the right words across, be it at your workplace or even with regards to your personal relationships, you must always remember that you need to observe those people who communicate effectively, the people around you who make easy and effective conversations. This should give you an insight and an understanding that could open up new ways for better ways to communicate with others.

Communication is not just about speaking effectively and in an impressive manner. No one likes to talk to a person who just goes on and on without ever listening to others. Remember, you also need to be a good listener. This is one factor that is so often overlooked by most people. It is important to be a good listener in order to understand what the other person is saying, and reply accordingly.

Think twice before you speak once. When conversing with someone, remember that you need to take time to think before you react to what is being said. Impulsive reactions often bring out the wrong words, or do not convey what you actually mean. It is an excellent communication skill to take a few moments and process all the information before you respond.

Think about your positive points before you start a conversation. This will help you overcome the initial hiccups, especially if you are going to give a speech before a very large audience. Being confident is the key element to effective communication.

Having a sense of humor helps to make any conservation light and fun to be in! Develop your sense of humor and use it. Do note one important thing in such cases – you must not hurt the sentiments of others in any possible way, and do not try to be overly funny. As a good communicator, one should know where to draw the line with humor.

Be it books or newspapers, develop a love for reading. A well-read person has knowledge on a variety of topics, and does not feel left out when discussing things with others. Reading makes you an intelligent individual with an improved vocabulary, which eventually boosts your confidence while talking to people.

Avoid thinking that what you say is always right; this may create a certain barrier beforehand in any conversation. An effective communicator makes it a point to listen to the other viewpoints before speaking himself. This provides him or her with a chance to assess the situation in a better way, as preconceived notions always create an obstacle to effective communication.

Rethink about the ways you are framing your sentences in order not to offend the other person. For example, at work, even if you are displeased, sometimes an effective manner of communicating can help you yield better results, rather than talking offensively. A polite manner of conversing can help you earn the respect of others and impress them as well.

Sporting the right kind of body language is another important key factor in improving communication skills. Maintain eye contact as you speak; sit and stand in an erect position, and have a firm handshake; do not give wrong signals by crossing your arms and legs; avoid fidgeting excessively. Always remember that your gestures say a lot about your personality as an individual.

Keeping the conversation interesting is extremely necessary. Remember, having good communication skills is not only about talking all the time, it is also about how you get others interested enough to participate in the conversation with you. On the other hand, if you are shy, it is important that you speak up and put your point across.
Thus, we can see how effective communication skills help one to connect with others, and to build successful relationships that would create a feeling of harmony, and also increase productivity at work.

Tips to Develop Reflective Listening Skills

Quick Tip
Do not introduce your ideas or questions into the speaker’s thoughts and feelings. Avoid over-mirroring, stereotyped reactions, feigning to understand, going beyond or missing the speaker’s ideas, and giving long responses. Pay careful attention to non-verbal cues and negative body language.
The term reflective listening refers to a type of listening where great attention is paid to the thoughts and feelings of the speaker. It is a communication technique where the listener understands and reflects the idea back to the speaker. Reflective listening can help develop mutual understanding and build trust, thus proving to be effective in solving relationship issues and improving relations. Speakers are encouraged to be open and frank, and to express their thoughts and beliefs freely. They are also needed to think about solutions to their issues. This turns out be motivational for the speaker and adds clarity to the communication.

Reflective listening can be used by therapists and counselors as they require to be patient and empathetic listeners. With their help, people get to better understand their feelings and problems. Reflective listening can also be employed between supervisors and their subordinates, spouses, and friends, to improve communication.
How to Develop Reflective Listening Skills
The listener should actively participate in the conversation to concentrate on the speaker’s specific idea and understand his intentions.
Any kind of distractions should be avoided or eliminated. Also, the conversations should not be diverted to other topics.
It is important to show acceptance of the speaker’s thoughts and feelings. This involves eye gestures and body language indicating the same. The listener should let the speaker know that they have a mutual understanding.
Another tip is to let the speaker say what he or she wants to without interrupting, and then asking him valid questions to confirm that his words have been understood. The listener can ask probing questions that motivate the speaker to find solutions. Questions can help the speaker in exploring aspects he may have ignored. Unnecessary questions should be avoided.
Listeners should avoid criticizing, offering advice, or explaining from their perspective. Instead, they should use techniques like using their own words to explain what they have heard and understood from the speaker.
The listener should take an empathetic approach. He or she should encourage the speaker to think out loud and speak freely by agreeing with his or her point of view, by hearing the speaker deeply and accurately, and by being non-judgmental. In this way, the listener gets to better understand the speaker and establish trust.
Listeners need to understand the mood of the speaker and then reflect his or her emotions and feelings with words and nonverbal communication. For this, the listener has to concentrate hard on the speaker’s mood, which can be determined by the words, facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, gestures and other nonverbal aspects given by the speaker.
Listeners should show a calm, comfortable and relaxing disposition. These aspects on the listener’s part will tend to evoke similar feelings in the speaker, thus making him feel comfortable.
The listener needs to focus on specific things rather than the vague ones. Often, the speaker will avoid painful feelings by being abstract or unclear in expressing them. The listener should encourage the speaker by asking him or her to be more specific so that things gets clearer.
While relaying the speaker’s thoughts back to him, the listener has to be frank, genuine and undiplomatic. He needs to use the right words and body language so that whatever was understood is conveyed to the speaker.
No matter how good your listening skills are, it is the speaker who can tell you if you have understood correctly or not. Listening actively to reflect the speaker’s emotions back to him can help him bring clarity to his thoughts. This can further help him find solutions to unresolved issues. Above all, successful reflective listening requires one to be positive, encouraging, patient, sincere, have a genuine desire to help, and possess excellent listening skills.