According to studies, most people are as poor in listening as they are in expressing their views. Some talk too much than they listen, while others do neither. Where do you find yourself?
Communication is an art that has to be mastered well.
So, what are the ways to improve communication skills?
1. Active Listening to Improve Communication
Active listening is the backbone of effective communication. If you want to improve your communication skills, you have to learn to listen when you are being addressed actively. Active listening involves paying attention to the message being communicated, giving affirmative responses, and following up with questions. When you learn to listen and give reasonable answers, the other party feels at ease and can get the message across.
2. Paying Attention to Non-verbal Communications
50% of what you communicate is sent out through your body language. Your facial expressions, eye contact, and good posture show how interested you are in the topic of discussion. For example, when you get into an interview, your interviewers can tell how prepared you are by assessing your body language. Remaining calm, giving eye contact, and minimizing hand gestures are effective ways of improving your attention. Crossing your arms conveys that you are not willing to give in to what you are being asked to do. Your communication gets effective when you learn how to pay attention to nonverbal cues.
3. Public Speaking
Another effective way of improving your communication skills is through public speaking. When you speak to a large group of people, you get more cautious of your words and the way you get your message across. You get more concerned about getting people to understand your message. People who seek chances to speak publicly master the art of communication quickly. They can assess when people are not paying attention and seek better ways of making their conversations enjoyable. So, public speaking will also help you improve your communication skills.
4. Managing Your Emotions
Communication triggers emotions, and sometimes you may feel attacked by what the other person is saying to you. It gets hard to pass the message across when people get emotional. That could even lead to conflict over minor issues. Mastering your emotions makes you a better listener. Remaining calm even when you feel the urge to respond emotionally places you in a better position to think and respond effectively.
5. Asking for Feedback to Improve Communication
As you practice communicating effectively, it’s essential to seek other people’s views of how you perform. Asking for feedback from friends and those close to you will help improve areas where your communication is failing. Give someone a chance to point out the places you should pay attention to honestly. By the end of that routine, you will be excellent at passing information and getting people to understand your message.
Life gets easier when we learn to communicate effectively. Learn to listen and respond without letting your emotions get in the way. Seek chances of public speaking, and ask people for honest feedback. Pay attention to these practices, and you will be an effective communicator.