The ability to effectively communicate our ideas and thoughts is crucial as we develop and grow our personal and professional relationships. Here are 5 skills that can have an immediate impact on our ability to get our point across.
*Less is more. Be concise and get to the point. People that ramble and talk over others are annoying and their message is easily lost. Be mindful of using filler words such as “um, like, so, you know, etc. Filler words are NERVOUS words. TIP… Enlist your friends, family and co-workers to help you identify your most commonly used filler words. Once you become mindful of these words, you will start to catch them and can remove them from your vocabulary.
*Monitor your language. Profanity is always discouraged. When you inject slang words such as “man” or “dude” into a conversation you are establishing yourself as an uneducated person. It is also wise to keep your religious and political opinions to yourself. TIP…Make a list of all of the profane/slang words that you use on a regular basis. Stand in front of your bathroom mirror and say these words out loud for 5 minutes. Do you feel intelligent and empowered after saying these words to yourself?
*Your physical presence. Your physical presence will often speak louder than anything you verbalize. Confident communicators possess an empowering physiology. Here are a couple of quick tips for making a good first impression. Stand tall, shoulders back and maintain eye contact. When shaking a person’s hand be firm but not overbearing. Weak handshakes, especially in men do not convey confidence. TIP…Be mindful of each conversation you are engaged in. Pay attention to your posture. Are you maintaining eye contact? How are you dressed? Become more aware of your presence and adjust accordingly.
*Pay people compliments and express gratitude. Develop the habit of paying genuine compliments to others. Seek positive things that people are doing and acknowledge them for it. Give thanks throughout the day for everything that you have and all of the opportunities that lie in front of you. TIP…When you first open your eyes in the morning, speak words of gratitude for everything that you are grateful for. Throughout the day continue to speak words of thanks for all of the wonderful opportunities and people that are in your life. Express thanks for your health and well being. Look for opportunities to compliment people that you come in contact with. Look them in they eye when you share your compliments. Do these things without fail for the next two weeks.
*Listening. God gave each of us two ears and one mouth. Our goal should be to listen twice as much as we talk. To be an effective communicator you must become an excellent listener. Learn to ask people questions and focus on their response. TIP…Monitor all of your conversations for the next two weeks. Each time you engage in a conversation ask that person a minimum of 3 questions. No matter how tempting it is, don’t respond until they have finished talking. Develop the practice of listening more than you speak.
My hope is that you will find these skills to be helpful in every area of your life.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback.