Effective communication is a fundamental skill we need in all aspects of our life. It is the transmission of knowledge, ideas, thoughts, and feelings through verbal actions, non-verbal cues, writing, and many other means.
Effective communication and related soft-skills can prove to be important for personal relationships, leadership roles, internship opportunities, job recruitment, and many other fields.
The style of communication, the way we frame information, pausing at the right places and our body language are some facets that help in properly putting our point across to our audience be it small or large.
And with respect to that, we also need to understand that communication is a two-way process, therefore effective communication can sometimes simply also mean being an avid listener.
Here are some must-have skills to improve and inculcate for better communication.
During a conversation or in an interview, listening to what others have to say rather than just trying to put your point across is a good way of letting the other person know that their opinions are being validated, simply by you giving your full-focus to them.
Active –listening also includes not simply taking a genuine interest in the conversation but also being accepting of the other person’s opinion, especially when you don’t agree with them.
On certain occasions, it is even fruitful to let the other person put across their viewpoint first in its entirely and then put your opinion forward so that the person feels heard and you are able to give an answer rather comprehensively than cutting the person off at regular intervals.
It is a known fact that during personal interactions, 90% of the communication is done through non-verbal cues like facial expressions, gestures, posture, your attitude, the tension in your muscles, etc, and only 10% is verbal communication.
Non-verbal cues like maintain eye contact with the person you are speaking to lets them know your interest in them. Important to this is also not checking your phone during a conversation, checking your phone implies disinterest that you are not completely involved in the conversation and would rather leave.
Similar is implied by some constantly checking a watch while conversing. Friendly and open postures (like not crossing your hands in front of your chest) are a way to let the other person know you are interested in conversing with them and hold their attention to you.
Voice modulation according to the number of people you are addressing and the topic goes a long way in getting your ideas across to someone.
Being Clear and to the Point
The main motive behind communication is to be able to put our point across in a way that the person is able to understand it properly but doing so in a short and succinct manner.
Use words that are not too complicated or complex to understand and puts across your view point in an impactful manner.
With respect to this, it would also be efficient the point you choose to communicate is framed in a manner not offending any others and is well researched, informative, not simply spew for the sake of adding something to the conversation.
In interviews as well as other conversations it could prove quite useful to ask questions. Asking questions establishes your involvement and is also indicative, in a way, of your communication skills and on the spot thinking.
Electronic communication consists of a huge part of our interaction nowadays, sending emails, writing resumes, or simply even texting someone, with e-communication, since the aspect of analyzing someone’s body language gets out of the equation, it is therefore important that our messages /emails be clear and indicative of the interest we want to get across.
Communicating ideas and emotion through an online mode can be effective with the wide range of tools available, but a tad bit limiting when the motive is to inspire someone.
Netiquette that is the etiquette one should follow while communicating online should also be taken into consideration while communicating online.
Emotion and Stress Management
While trying to communicate your ideas, especially new ones, controversial ones, or difficult opinions, it is important to not get stressed so that you are able to put across your viewpoint impactfully.
Being stressed while communicating gets translated into your body language very easily, making you seem nervous, unconfident, which people might mistake for flaws in your ideas.
Similarly, being in control of your emotions while speaking, not only makes you feel confident but gives you certain control over a situation which can work to your benefit. It shows the level of clarity you poses.
Here are some tricks to hack effective communication-
- Speak up and don’t be afraid to share your opinion, the worse that can happen is you will be wrong
- Be flexible and own up to your mistakes, you are only human.
- Prepare beforehand what you are going to say, in case it is of something important. Always think before you speak.
- Be ready for different questions and answers in case you are preparing for an interview or social event.
- Don’t be quick to judge someone and be mindful of their opinions.
- Don’t offer unwanted advice or solution.