Top 3 Ways To Improve Your Communication

Top 3 Tips To Improve Your Communication | The Change Starter

Effective communication is probably the most important tool we have to succeed in life, yet especially in today’s digital world, we are often quite lazy about it. For improved communication that starts today, check out our 3 top tips to help you communicate more effectively.

 1. Listen, Listen, Listen (no, really)

The first, and most important factor for improving your communication is to learn to listen. It might sound silly; ‘I do listen’, I hear you protest. But do you? Do you really listen actively to what another person is communicating to you? Do you let the other person talk without interrupting them? It’s not easy to do this all the time, but with practice it becomes a more natural approach to how you communicate.

Silence is the most powerful way to communicate with someone, and great communication includes more listening than anything else!

Have you ever had a ‘conversation’ with someone who needed to get something off their chest? They talk and talk, and you do nothing but sit there in silence listening as they let it all go. After they finish, they’ll thank you for listening. And, they’ll walk away from that conversation having gained much more self-awareness and insight into their current issue, than if you had continuously responded to the talk. Meanwhile, you’re left wondering what you did right?!

Give it a try today by making a conscious decision not to respond to the people around you until they have completely finished talking. Leave three seconds (which will seem like a life time) at the end of their speech, before you talk yourself. See how you go. The need NOT to respond verbally to someone is incredibly empowering for both them, and you.

2. Reflect The Other Person’s Statements in Question Form

Checking, clarifying and re-stating are the strongest ways to demonstrate that you are not only listening to the other person, but that you are understanding and seeking to understand them too. It also helps you to maintain your listening.

So, once someone finishes their paragraph and speech, and after you’ve given the conversation the three seconds of space we discussed in point 1; reflect their statement back to them. For example, an employee explains a situation whereby a customer has made a complaint and requires a refund. You listen to the explanation, leave three seconds, then you say; “so, the customer has requested a refund to resolve this, is that right?”; or; “let me make sure I’ve understood this correctly. You’re saying that the customer has requested a refund, is that right?”. Note that in both instances, the reflection ends with a question back to the other person to double-check you are correctly stating, and therefore understanding, the essence of their communication. Once you have reflected your understanding of their statement, and sought clarification or confirmation of the situation, you can then move confidently onto the solution and next steps.

3. Tailor Your Message To Your Audience

Your communication will be most effective if you tailor and adjust it to the person with whom you are communicating. To do this most effectively, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the other person. By looking at a situation from their point of view, you can build insight and knowledge about what is going to be the most persuasive way to get your point across. Developing a strong sense of empathy is key to this, as it helps you to experience what the other person is going through. We always have a personal motivation in anything we do, so even when your job is to convince someone to do business with you; you need to identify the personal motivation that person has, and what they really want. If you can demonstrate that you understand things from their perspective, and have solutions that align with their sense of the world, then your communication will thrive!

Need more help? Try our Kick-starters series on listening, and other aspects of effective communication! Shop now.

 

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