5 Smart Skills for Better Communication
Being a great communicator isn’t only necessary for leaders, but for an entire team that strives to be highly productive and successful.
I’ve talked before about things great communicators do that others don’t, but today I want to go a little more in-depth and explore some methods that you can implement into your own life as well as tools for your team to enhance their communication skills.
Effective communication is a necessary and incredibly useful life skill, helping us in our social lives and especially in our work by getting our point across.
1. Body Language
Imagine you’re a team leader on a project at work, and you say you’re open to input, but when others approach you, you have your arms crossed, or you’re constantly looking down at your phone.
Even if they appear unbothered, small actions like this are a sure way to shut someone down, and they will perceive your actions as rude or as if their time is unimportant to you.
This is a subtle way to communicate your emotions to others, put the phone away and open yourself up to those speaking so they feel comfortable to share ideas.
2. Be Mindful
Taking a pause before you speak, especially when someone is asking for advice, really gives you a moment to consider options and form a thoughtful opinion – or better yet, ask a question – that your employee or colleague will truly appreciate.
Be mindful of asking for input or feedback, and then cutting the other person off mid-sentence or offhandedly dismissing the input. These behaviors will shut-down ideas regardless of how much you say you want it.
Disconnecting from your phone, e-mail, etc. will actually help you connect with others on a deeper level in many ways. Today, we are so used to immediate answers and are nearly always “connected” somehow via e-mail or social media.
Disconnecting can help us remember how to be patient while giving yourself a break from work. You can’t expect to be a good communicator if you’re constantly going through tasks and reports in your head.
Piggybacking off this tip, use this ¨unplugged¨ time to read more. Giving yourself some time to read for pleasure or even catch up on articles relevant to your career will help improve your vocabulary and allow you to express your ideas more concisely.
4. Regular Check-ins
Whether you’re a business leader or an aspiring leader, making an effort to regularly check-in with employees and colleagues will help strengthen internal communication.
Showing the initiative of being an active participant in projects and day-to-day functions will demonstrate your commitment to the team and organization.
5. Reach Out
In all aspects of life, you will come across people who are a little shy or more reserved. Even if your office has a high-functioning relationship, you can bet there are one or two people who tend to keep to themselves.
Although unintentional, this can create barriers to communication. Identify shy employees and start building a relationship, get to know them, and be patient.
You can improve internal communication and team success by helping reserved colleagues feel open to share their ideas and concerns.
If you’re working toward improving your own communication skills as well as your organization’s, check out the Everything DiSC Assessment and Facilitation products.
This will help you and your employees understand your behaviors as well as how to adapt for more effective communication. Get in touch with me today to develop a program to meet your specific needs!
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