According to a study in which 400 organizations of both the UK and USA participated, it was found out that lack of communication cost the average organization $62.4 million per annum in lost productivity.
But you might be wondering what actually is “effective communication”, right? Effective communication is interpreting the true meaning of the information. It includes identifying what the user is trying to say to you and in what manner. It also includes us talking or replying to a user that he or she can easily understand us.
However, many people lack the skills needed for effective communication. Today, we will discuss what are the top 10 skills you need for effective communication.
Below specified are the Top 10 Skills for Effective Communication.
Listening is one of the essential elements of effective communication. People who are active or engaged listeners understand things in more detail. It means that active listeners understand what the user is trying to say, even if the speaker is not highly effective.
Sometimes people, particularly in the workplace, do not listen to what other people say. They ignore it or do not listen with full attention. All this causes valuable information to be misplaced and reduces the essence that you need for effective communication.
Furthermore, being an active listener also helps you identify the current mood of a speaker, and the intentions behind it. Hence, for effective communication, build a deeper connection. And build trust within your team members, it is crucial to be an attentive listener.
To be an attentive listener, make proper eye contact with the speaker, and focus on his or her expression and the words. In case of any confusion, you can ask numerous questions. But make sure to do this after the conversation is over, as interrupting for your benefit is not recommended. Moreover, be attentive and have a proper body posture to practice active listening.
Another skill that you should learn to be an effective communicator is to be precise and unambiguous with your message. If you are a person that tells the whole background story that is unauthentic and without any proof to explain your things, then you are not an effective communicator.
However, if you are specific with your message, your audience can comprehend you better. Being concrete with your message also means providing explicit details about the information you are delivering, including facts and figures.
Furthermore, you should be clear with your message as well. You want your message to be well-defined and clear so others can understand you better in a short time. The clarity in a message is vital as it ensures that every member of the work team can understand you without any inconvenience. To be clear in your speech, use simple vocabulary, use active voice, and be clear about your objectives.
Your body language plays a vital role for you to be an effective communicator. Words are important but what is more important is your tone, eye contact, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Hand gestures while communicating represent that you are confident and courageous. Hence, it allows the person you are speaking with to pay attention to you and actually listen to what you are saying.
Using non-verbal communication while speaking helps build a stronger relationship with others, and deliver your message more conveniently and effectively. To improve your non-verbal communication, learn about different hand gestures, tones, and stances. Also, make sure to pay attention to other people’s body language to interpret the message better.
It is surely one of very important Top 10 Skills for Effective Communication. You can’t ignore this.
Stress and anxiety can ruin your communication and discourage you. Both these things can cause you to be an ineffective communicator. To communicate effectively, you should relax and be stress-free. Stress causes you to choose the wrong sets of words. It makes it harder for your audience to understand you.
Also, remaining calm and stress-free during a conversation helps you understand the nature of the conversation in a better way. Plus, it helps you choose between fight and flight mode. Fight and flight here mean to reply or stay quiet depending on the situation.
In addition, being relaxed also ensures that you make decisions that you no longer regret in the future and avoid numerous complications. Hence, to communicate effectively, it is recommended to stay calm.
To be an effective communicator, you should inform your audience about what your conversation would be about. It would help your audience to have a general idea about the conversation. Furthermore, it would also allow them to grasp the knowledge easily. Other than that, you should also inform your audience about the key features or points that they should listen to and keep in mind during the conversation.
Informing others about what the conversation is about prepares your audience, and helps them take the necessary action needed to comprehend you. You should also explain your points in detail to your audience, as not all your audience might have the same informative background as you. Explaining your ideas and thoughts in detail helps numerous groups in the audience, which allows you to be an effective communicator.
Representing the information that you want to display in front of your audience in a visual form helps them to remember it for a long time. It is embedded in human psychology, that the information that we process information a lot faster than is expressed in the form of pictures. According to a study, humans have an enhanced ability to interpret and remember pictures for an extended period.
According to the same study, it was concluded that we do not remember words for a longer time as compared to pictures. Hence, to be an effective communicator, you must be able to make your points understood to your audience, and to do this, it is advised to choose the right info delivering strategies like visual communication. Visual communication means representing the information through charts, maps, images, and graphs.
Showing empathy means showing understanding. There are times when your statement or opinions contradict other members or members of the team. But in a situation like this, you should not be angry or frustrated. Instead, you should respect their opinion and admire their courage. Think of it as a healthy competition.
To show exceeding levels of understanding and make sure that other people consider you as a competitive communicator, make sure to use statements like “I know what you are trying to say, but….”, or “Sorry, but I think….” Statements like these would help others to know that you were paying attention to their views and would boost their morale.
Completeness means completing your sentences while communicating. Sometimes you may notice that people start a sentence. But after a short, while they get so confused, they start explaining other points leaving the first one. Hence, all this creates utmost confusion and does not help with effective communication.
To communicate effectively, you must completely explain the first point in detail, then move to the next one. Also, make sure that you move in a sequence while explaining your points, and there must be a connection and logical deduction within the sentences.
Furthermore, it is also crucial if you are replying to someone, as completeness makes numerous things in conversation easy and structured. Hence, if you want to be an effective communicator, make sure to develop this skill.
Giving and receiving feedback is essential and one of the core skills for effective communication. Giving feedbacks encourages a person, and similarly receiving a couple helps you to view and improve your weak points.
You might not get all the feedback stating how good of a person you are. Sometimes they may be tough to read, but you must act positively on them to be a better communicator. Also, try to understand the problems that are causing people to give the feedback they are giving. You can also ask the senders about what it means if you cannot comprehend the feedback well.
To effectively communicate in a workplace or your profession, you must know your team members. So, do not waste the precious time that you get during coffee or lunch break in just sitting alone and eating. Make sure to utilize that time to know more about your colleagues to have a better understanding of them.
The better the understanding you would have about your team members, the better you would be able to communicate with them.
The above-specified are the top 10 skills for effective communication. Developing these skills can help you to communicate effectively with others.