Good communication skills are important to understand and relate with those around you. 89% of people value them in personal, academic, and professional contexts.
But, what is the best way to improve your communication skills?
We’re glad you asked! Today, we’re talking about the best tips to help you develop excellent speaking and listening skills, so read on!
Develop Your Listening Skills
When developing good communication skills, half the battle is being able to listen.
To be a good listener, practice active listening. This means listening closely and affirming the speaker with statements and questions.
Also, pay attention to the choice of words and tone. Assess these cues together before interpreting a message.
Think Before You Speak
Get into the habit of thinking before you speak. Practice empathy and consider different perspectives as you form your thoughts.
Also, be mindful of the impact of the words you use.
Consider others’ opinions and think about the most efficient way to word something when you speak with a filter.
Display Appropriate Body Language
When building effective communication skills, consider the demands of the conversation. Different topics vary in intensity and require different types of body language and nonverbal cues.
For example, intimate conversations rely on open body language, so consider leaning in. Serious conversations demand good posture and no fidgeting, as this can distract from your message.
Also focus on making eye contact, nodding when listening, and being respectful. Remember that different cultures use different nonverbal cues, so understand your audience before using them.
As long as it is appropriate, ask questions to solidify your understanding.
Clarify a message by repeating your understanding of it. Ask for an explanation when you are unsure.
Again, practice active listening by asking follow-up questions to expand your understanding.
Another type of communication skill is the ability to respond to feedback.
Discuss clarity, whether you spoke with a tone, and how efficiently you delivered your point.
Find out how well another speaker thought you listened, and consider what you can do better next time.
Think about what you enjoyed in other peoples’ communication and model it. Do the same with what you didn’t enjoy, and make sure to avoid that behavior in your next conversation.
Hire a Speaking Coach
If you are still struggling to communicate well, consider hiring a speaking coach.
Speaking coaches recognize minute issues in communication that other people wouldn’t usually notice. Their awareness of ineffective communication behaviors helps improve your communication skills.
Speaking coaches teach you how to make your communication more effective. They also allow you to practice those skills.
Confidence, articulation, and body language are common factors that coaches try to improve.
Develop Good Communication Skills By Practicing These Behaviors
Developing effective communication skills is a process, but it’s important to have them relate to the world around you.
If you practice these speaking and listening behaviors, you will garner good communication skills in no time!
Are you looking for more information to help you develop personal skills? Check out the education, lifestyle, or technology columns of our homepage for more!