Have you ever thought about the efficacy of your communication skills? Do you find yourself having to repeat yourself over and over again or being misunderstood by your colleagues and subordinates at work? Are your proposals and great ideas frequently passed over during strategic planning? Chances are your communication skill needs improvement.
Significance of effective communication skills
Regardless whether you top the US Bar examination, a brilliant Architect in town or the most intelligent college graduate for the year; you will not go farther than where you are now if your communication skill is ineffective. Being able to convey your thoughts and ideas to others as you want them to understand it is very crucial when you are in a business organization. Conflict, complaints and failure to achieve the organization’s goals could result if you have ineffective communication ability. Hence, you need to work on improving your business communication skills.
Before you will initiate changes toward enhancing your skill in communicating with others, you must realize that communication is a two-way process. Therefore, you should consider not only yourself, but also the person or persons you are communicating with. This means that even if you know the right words to say but the people you are saying it to believe that they are not heard in return or they don’t understand the way you are telling it to them, there is failure in communication.
Begin with the right choice of words
The American vocabulary is very expansive. Some words may have similar meanings but when used in a particular context or used with another specific word, may mean differently. To be able to express your ideas well in an organization, you need to have a wide array of English words at your command that are simple, easy to understand yet convey the significance of the subject matter you are imparting. Use words in accordance to your subject matter and listener. Flowery and poetic words as well as colloquial words have no space in an important executive meeting for instance.
Be concise, clear and coherent
Equip with the right choice of words, you also need to be direct to the point when conveying your thoughts. Talking in a logical manner and being clear with what you want to communicate will also improve communication. You will not be able to achieve this overnight if you have been used to communicating in vague, irrational and long-winded way. The key is to always practice this way of communicating even in the other aspect of your life such as when communicating with your family and friends.
Your voice matters
People would want to listen to a voice that has a normal pitch, well-modulated and is loud enough. One barrier to effective communication is the kind of voice use in communicating. Overly soft or high-pitch voice is not good to listen to. Try to listen to your voice when you are alone and assess whether it is too soft or high-pitch. Practice speaking often as if you are communicating to an audience and record your voice to assess and make adjustments to it, to make it well-modulated and loud enough to hear.
Be aware of non-verbal communication
One impediment to being an effective communicator is the non-verbal communication you convey. This involves your body language, facial expression and the mannerisms you exhibit while you are conveying your ideas to others. You might be telling your colleagues another thing but your outward demeanor is conveying the opposite. Ensure that your body language and facial expression is in full coordination with what you are verbally conveying.
Listen and be present in every sense
When you are the manager of a business organization, it follows that your subordinates will always listen to whatever you will say, right? Wrong. Even if you are the president of a company, you will be an ineffective communicator if you do not take the time to really listen to the people around you, the ones you work with. To be an effective communicator, you need to listen. To be able to do this, you need to be present physically, mentally and spiritually when communicating.
To improve your business communication skills, you need to keep an open mind. Refrain from being judgmental. You must always remember that it takes two or more people to communicate. Hence, you should always consider yourself as well as the other person or persons when trying to communicate. To be an effective communicator you should always take into consideration not only what the other person is telling you but also what he is feeling in response to you, on top of your own perspective.