When asked to define communication, how would you respond? Most people will relate to the forms of communication – talking or listening. But communication goes beyond that. Communication involves getting information from one person to the other person. Yet even this is not a complete definition because communicating effectively involves having that information relayed while retaining the same in content and context. If I tell you one thing and you hear another, have I communicated?
Here are some skills you can learn to have an effective communication :
- Control – Control yourself, your body language, pace, tone, etc and control the audience or listener. Control the topic and avoid big digressions, control your emotions, control the venue if possible so as to be in a. comfortable area and room.
- Conversational – Do not lecture, do not whine, and do not get angry or over-emotional. Have a conversation. No matter what the other person or people do in a meeting, negotiation, when a customer is complaining etc. Keep control and keep it conversational. This means back and forth, active listening, and not getting over-emotional for no good reason. Do not get sucked into an argument that will harm your image later.
- Confident – People are less likely to challenge you and more likely yo follow you if you present yourself with confidence. Your voice should be loud enough and at a controlled pace, your body language should be strong (not stiff) with a straight back, meaningful gestures, great eye contact, etc. And the content of your speech or presentation or point to be made should also come from a confident place, i.e. you know what you are talking about. Do not think that BS will work all time with everyone. When you have researched and prepared well, you feel confident, and you can let that shine through.
- Component – You have to back it up. Whatever you are saying or selling, be not only prepared but also able to back it up. You must be good at what you are suggesting others follow you on as well, if you are seeking a leadership role. Why should I listen to you? Answer that question before you meet the group.
- Calm – If you start calm, you are more likely to both calm down others (if agitated) and to continue to communicate calmly. Control your breathing, pace, volume etc, in a relaxed way. Use rhythmic gestures as well. Nothing fast and darting. Think yoga movements.
- Clear – Do not beat around the bush. State exactly what you want people to do, or why they should follow you. Don’t let people guess your meaning. State clearly your objectives or desires, and people will respect you for your leadership and ideas. Please still include the 3Ps (Polite, Professional, Positive) when you deliver your message though.
- Concise – Do not waste valuable time. Say what you have to say and ask what you need from your listener or team, and then let them go. When giving suggestions, advice or orders, give them with appropriate details delivered in a short, concise way.