Effective communication is a skill we all must continuously work on, especially nowadays as society is changing. Maybe also due to the fact that most of us haven’t seen many other people since the beginning of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to brush up on and develop our skills. Whether we work in an office or virtually, or travel often, here are a few tips to improve our communication skills whether its writing, listening, or all of the above.
Work on listening to others and listening well
When you actively listen to what others are saying to you, rather than sorting out what you want to say next instead, your communication skills skyrocket. Especially when you are limited on time or have a set agenda, this can be challenging to do but the results will lead to more effective communication and a greater sense of being heard by who you are communicating with. So practice active listening at any chance you get, whether it be in a professional or a personal setting. It will boost your relationships and conversations everywhere.
Eliminate sexist language from your vocabulary
Sexist and discriminatory language is deep-rooted in society, and the first step to eliminating this type of language from your vocabulary is recognizing this. Then you can more actively eliminate it, recognize when it is used elsewhere, and help uplift society by leading to healthier communication. Words carry a lot of weight, and kind communication is essential to good communication. You can learn more about words that hurt on sites and apps such as Babbel, as well as boost your communication skills in another language. In today in the modern world, the more languages you know, and know how to use the words properly, the better off you will be in your success.
Learn basic nonverbal communication
Each individual has the power to say a lot, even without verbal communication. In fact, 93% of communication is nonverbal. Examples of nonverbal communication are: posture, how you interact with the space you are in, facial expressions, and how you position and carry yourself. So to help boost your communication skills, pay attention to your body language and your facial expressions. Take up space confidently, but do so in a positive way that contributes to your environment rather than takes it over. Some tips are to maintain eye contact, keep your arms relaxed and not folded, and especially when on virtual meetings, nod to show you are engaged.
Ask for honest feedback
When you are communicating with a team, loved ones, or even those who are simply open to the dialogue, honest feedback can significantly help you improve your communication skills. We all have this perception and idea of how we interact and what we want to work on, but it is different to hear from others what they notice about your communication style and what you could improve.
Remember to actively listen when someone is giving you feedback, to respond calmly, and thank them for the honest feedback. If one were to get aggressive or make excuses for their communication style, this should be a warning flag that something needs to be improved here.
The art of timing
There is always something to be said for time and place, especially in terms of delivering jokes. Know who you are speaking to and what is and what is not acceptable, and this can vastly boost your communication skills. For example, keep it professional at your workplace and while many work environments encourage joking and bonding, it is still crucial to keep a professional line that you do not cross and know when it is time to move on from a specific topic.
If you are traveling, a professional, or student, it is especially crucial to brush up on your communication skills and make it a habit to keep evolving. But if not, it is still critical that we boost our self- awareness and communication skills.