Communication: it’s key for an effective professional or personal life.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to communicate effectively, and both their personal and professional lives and up suffering as a result.
No matter which industry you work in or which relationships you maintain, paying attention to the art of communication is smart, and essential for success. What’s more, actively building your communication skills is one of the easiest ways to improve your life.
8 communication tips for individuals and professionals
Whether you’re a small business owner who wants to become more efficient at managing a team, or an individual interested in becoming more friendly and influential, these 8 communication tips can help:
1. Understand Your Audience
If you work in marketing, you know it’s essential to know your audience. After all, it’s impossible to write a good blog post, succeed on social media, or create beautiful visuals if you don’t know who you’re trying to connect with.
The same goes for communication.
When you understand your audience, be that your spouse or your team, it’s easier to make an impact. It’s also easier to sift through information to pull out the most relevant and important bits. These two things improve the efficiency of communication and help promote better outcomes.
2. Be Honest
Without a foundation of honesty, it’s impossible to communicate well. Today, outstanding personal and professional communication both rely on telling the truth, even when it’s hard. This may mean breaking bad news to your team or confessing that you’re not as interested in that tango class as your partner is.
While most leaders and individuals worry that being honest will damage communication, it strengthens it by bringing more integrity and clarity into the mix.
3. Get Comfortable With Yourself
Unless you’re comfortable with yourself, who you are, and what you think, it’s tough to communicate effectively with others.
With this in mind, focus on being fully present during every conversation you have, especially the ones that are difficult. Learn to be comfortable with your own viewpoints and with accepting of the viewpoints of others. Remember: it’s not about being “right” so much as it is about being productive.
4. Don’t Back into Things
One of the worst mistakes people make during communication is to back into a conversation. Think about the would-be leader who apologizes profusely for something there’s no cause to be sorry for, or the new intern who discredits themselves by saying “I think,” or “maybe,” or “just.”
While these verbal tics are mostly unconscious, they give you an unsure and insecure air. To become a stronger communicator, you need to eliminate them.
Even if it takes some time, stop apologizing for your viewpoints, eliminate modifiers like “just” from your vocabulary, and learn to get straight to the point. While these things seem like small fixes, they can work wonders for the directness and efficiency of your communication.
5. Check Your Emotions
Many productive conversations are ruined by one party becoming emotionally elevated. If you want to be an effective communicator, you need to learn to control your emotional responses. This means staying level-headed even when you’re angry and frustrated, and not letting knee-jerk reactions dictate the course of your conversations.
Instead of flying off the handle and reacting, focus on being proactive about your communication style. Learn fail-safe tricks to manage your emotional responses and master the art of stepping back and evaluating your mindset before you respond to something you find inflammatory.
By far one of the most important communication skills anyone can master, this simple switch will make a massive difference in the state of your life and relationships.
6. Be Patient With Miscommunications
Even when you’re a strong communicator, miscommunications happen. Instead of writing someone off or getting frustrated, make space to work the miscommunication out. To do this, you’ve got to understand that people don’t see the world as it is, they see it as they are.
This means that various people interpret situations differently, and that someone’s personal experience may well be clouding their ability to understand your rational argument.
Consider bringing in an objective third-party to help work out miscommunications, and remember to always make an active attempt to understand the other person’s perspective.
7. Swear Off Blame
Blame is never a good thing for communication. Instead of alleviating you of responsibility, blame simply tells other people that you’re too small to take responsibility for your actions. For a manager, this can be career-killing. For a relationship, it can deal a critical blow.
With this in mind, don’t ever, ever blame other people. Even if another person did something wrong, the only thing you can do is focus on your role in the situation and how to make it right. Anything else only makes it harder to communicate and resolve conflict.
If you want to improve your communication skills, the best thing you can do is learn to listen. People with strong listening skills are leaders, and they place themselves in a position where other people want to communicate with them.
On the other hand, people who don’t listen don’t command respect from those around them.
Learn to practice “Active listening.” While it can feel stiff at first, it’s an effective way to avoid miscommunications and make the people around you feel heard.
How to Communicate – Made Simple
While improving the way you communicate is a lifelong process, these eight steps will get you well on your way. Whether your team could benefit from better communication or you simply want to boost the trajectory of your personal life, implementing these 8 tips is a great place to start.
At Thrive, we value relationships and results, both of which are tied closely to effective communication skills. To learn more about effective communication in business, contact Thrive Internet Marketing today!