By Mary Kelly
Communication is key when it comes to anything that involves other people. We humans are a social species, and communication is involved in nearly everything you do. And yet, so many of us get it wrong, even to those closest to us.
Some people are born with a natural ability to communicate well. Their communication methods seem to be easy for them and people gravitate towards them. Others may struggle with getting people to listen. Regardless of what category you fall into, it’s likely that you can benefit from improving your communication skills.
Why Better Communication Helps Us
Did you know that most businesses consider your communication skills to be the most important characteristic about you? This means that you could have top-notch knowledge and job skills, but still fail to get the job of your dreams if you’re lacking good communication skills.
Communication is also critical to your personal relationships. Have you ever had a disagreement with someone in your family? Of course you have! Most arguments are the result of poor communication. Couples and family members that are good communicators lead happier personal as well as professional lives.
Proper communication prevents misunderstandings, and saves time so you don’t have to repeat yourself. Fewer mistakes are made with good communication.
It is estimated that poor communication costs business 37 billion dollars a year globally.
How Can Leaders Improve Their Communication With Others?
Communication is a two-way street, not a monologue. This means we might have excellent skills, but if the recipient doesn’t understand, then we have not communicated effectively. Remember, the onus of making sure the message is received is always on the person who is delivering the message.
As a leader, we can facilitate the process by being effective listeners as well. Great leaders make it easy for people to communicate with them, and they are able to absorb and synthesize information quickly. It takes practice. This is why it’s important not only to develop our speaking skills, but our listening skills, too.
We generally cannot affect the skill level of others, so we need to strengthen our own communication skills. As an excellent communicator, more people will understand us, everything around us will run more efficiently, and we get what we want accomplished.
To improve communication skills, try these 5 techniques:
Bonus: Let it go.
Don’t hang on to arguments, either at home or at work, because you want to be mad. That is childish and unprofessional. We will not win every discussion. There will be disappointments. Life is full of disappointments. Once the issue is over, let it go.
Becoming a better communicator doesn’t happen overnight. But if we keep practicing and tweaking our skills, we will be surprised at what we can accomplish.
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