How do i communicate better

Eight Things You Can Do To Improve Your Communication Skills - Professional Development


A leader’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively with employees, within teams, and across the organization is one of the foundations of a successful business.

And in today’s complex and quickly evolving business environment, with hundreds of different communication tools, fully or partially remote teams, and even multicultural teams spanning multiple time zones, effective communication has never been more important—or more challenging.

Thus, the ability to communicate might be a manager’s most critical skill. 

The good news is that these skills can be learned and even mastered. 

These eight tips can help you maximize your communication skills for the success of your organization and your career.

1. Be clear and concise

Communication is primarily about word choice. And when it comes to word choice, less is more.

The key to powerful and persuasive communication—whether written or spoken—is clarity and, when possible, brevity.  

Before engaging in any form of communication, define your goals and your audience. 

Outlining carefully and explicitly what you want to convey and why will help ensure that you include all necessary information. It will also help you eliminate irrelevant details. 

Avoid unnecessary words and overly flowery language, which can distract from your message.

And while repetition may be necessary in some cases, be sure to use it carefully and sparingly. Repeating your message can ensure that your audience receives it, but too much repetition can cause them to tune you out entirely. 

2. Prepare ahead of time

Know what you are going to say and how you are going to say before you begin any type of communication.

However, being prepared means more than just practicing a presentation. 

Preparation also involves thinking about the entirety of the communication, from start to finish. Research the information you may need to support your message. Consider how you will respond to questions and criticisms. Try to anticipate the unexpected.

Before a performance review, for instance, prepare a list of concrete examples of your employee’s behavior to support your evaluation.

Before engaging in a salary or promotion negotiation, know exactly what you want. Be ready to discuss ranges and potential compromises; know what you are willing to accept and what you aren’t. And have on hand specific details to support your case, such as relevant salaries for your position and your location (but be sure that your research is based on publicly available information, not company gossip or anecdotal evidence). 

Before entering into any conversation, brainstorm potential questions, requests for additional information or clarification, and disagreements so you are ready to address them calmly and clearly.

3. Be mindful of nonverbal communication

Our facial expressions, gestures, and body language can, and often do, say more than our words. 

Nonverbal cues can have between 65 and 93 percent more impact than the spoken word. And we are more likely to believe the nonverbal signals over spoken words if the two are in disagreement. 

Leaders must be especially adept at reading nonverbal cues. 

Employees who may be unwilling to voice disagreements or concerns, for instance, may show their discomfort through crossed arms or an unwillingness to make eye contact. If you are aware of others’ body language, you may be able to adjust your communication tactics appropriately.

At the same time, leaders must also be able to control their own nonverbal communications. 

Your nonverbal cues must, at all times, support your message. At best, conflicting verbal and nonverbal communication can cause confusion. At worst, it can undermine your message and your team’s confidence in you, your organization, and even in themselves. 

4. Watch your tone

How you say something can be just as important as what you say. As with other nonverbal cues, your tone can add power and emphasis to your message, or it can undermine it entirely.

Tone can be an especially important factor in workplace disagreements and conflict. A well-chosen word with a positive connotation creates good will and trust. A poorly chosen word with unclear or negative connotations can quickly lead to misunderstanding. 

When speaking, tone includes volume, projection, and intonation as well as word choice. In real time, it can be challenging to control tone to ensure that it matches your intent. But being mindful of your tone will enable you to alter it appropriately if a communication seems to be going in the wrong direction.

Tone can be easier to control when writing. Be sure to read your communication once, even twice, while thinking about tone as well as message. You may even want to read it out loud or ask a trusted colleague to read it over, if doing so does not breach confidentiality. 

And when engaging in a heated dialogue over email or other written medium, don’t be too hasty in your replies. 

If at all possible, write out your response but then wait for a day or two to send it. In many cases, re-reading your message after your emotions have cooled allows you to moderate your tone in a way that is less likely to escalate the conflict.

5. Practice active listening

Communication nearly always involves two or more individuals.

Therefore, listening is just as important as speaking when it comes to communicating successfully. But listening can be more challenging than we realize. 

In her blog post Mastering the Basics of Communication, communication expert Marjorie North notes that we only hear about half of what the other person says during any given conversation. 

The goal of active listening is to ensure that you hear not just the words the person is saying, but the entire message. Some tips for active listening include:

  • Giving the speaker your full and undivided attention
  • Clearing your mind of distractions, judgements, and counter-arguments. 
  • Avoiding the temptation to interrupt with your own thoughts.
  • Showing open, positive body language to keep your mind focused and to show the speaker that you are really listening
  • Rephrase or paraphrase what you’ve heard when making your reply
  • Ask open ended questions designed to elicit additional information


Build your emotional intelligence

Communication is built upon a foundation of emotional intelligence. Simply put, you cannot communicate effectively with others until you can assess and understand your own feelings. 

“If you’re aware of your own emotions and the behaviors they trigger, you can begin to manage these emotions and behaviors,” says Margaret Andrews in her post, How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence.

Leaders with a high level of emotional intelligence will naturally find it easier to engage in active listening, maintain appropriate tone, and use positive body language, for example.  

Understanding and managing your own emotions is only part of emotional intelligence. The other part—equally important for effective communication—is empathy for others.

Empathizing with an employee can, for example, make a difficult conversation easier. 

You may still have to deliver bad news, but (actively) listening to their perspective and showing that you understand their feelings can go a long way toward smoothing hurt feelings or avoiding misunderstandings.

7. Develop a workplace communication strategy

Today’s workplace is a constant flow of information across a wide variety of formats. Every single communication must be understood in the context of that larger flow of information.

Even the most effective communicator may find it difficult to get their message across without a workplace communication strategy.

A communication strategy is the framework within which your business conveys and receives information. It can—and should—outline how and what you communicate to customers and clients, stakeholders, and managers and employees. 

Starting most broadly, your strategy should incorporate who gets what message and when. This ensures that everyone receives the correct information at the right time. 

It can be as detailed as how you communicate, including defining the type of tools you use for which information. For example, you may define when it’s appropriate to use a group chat for the entire team or organization or when a meeting should have been summarized in an email instead.  

Creating basic guidelines like this can streamline the flow of information. It will help ensure that everyone gets the details they need and that important knowledge isn’t overwhelmed by extraneous minutia. 

8. Create a positive organizational culture

The corporate culture in which you are communicating also plays a vital role in effective communication. 

In a positive work environment—one founded on transparency, trust, empathy, and open dialogue—communication in general will be easier and more effective. 

Employees will be more receptive to hearing their manager’s message if they trust that manager. And managers will find it easier to create buy-in and even offer constructive criticism if they encourage their employees to speak up, offer suggestions, and even offer constructive criticisms of their own. 

“The most dangerous organization is a silent one,” says Lorne Rubis in a blog post, Six Tips for Building a Better Workplace Culture. Communication, in both directions, can only be effective in a culture that is built on trust and a foundation of psychological safety.

Authoritative managers who refuse to share information, aren’t open to suggestions, and refuse to admit mistakes and accept criticism are likely to find their suggestions and criticisms met with defensiveness or even ignored altogether. 

Without that foundation of trust and transparency, even the smallest communication can be misconstrued and lead to misunderstandings and unnecessary conflict.

Communicating with co-workers and employees is always going to present challenges. There will always be misunderstandings and miscommunications that must be resolved and unfortunately, corporate messages aren’t always what we want to hear, especially during difficult times.

But building and mastering effective communication skills will make your job easier as a leader, even during difficult conversations. Taking the time to build these skills will certainly be time well-spent. 

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3 steps to better communication

Clear, efficient communication is an art form, and it can take a lot of practice to master. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in improving your communication skills, so you can become assertive and confident in getting your message across.

How to effectively communicate

  • Practise active listening.
  • Be assertive and confident when expressing your thoughts.
  • Remember to be mindful of your body language.
  • Be specific about your message and straightforward when describing what you mean.
  • Always consider who you are talking to, and adapt your communication style to suit the situation.

Be an active listener

Good listeners ask questions, respect people's right to disagree, and know when to offer help. Learn how to be a great listener with these simple steps:

  • Let others talk. If someone talks to you about something difficult or important, don't interrupt them with a story about yourself, even if it's relevant. Let them finish what they want to say and then help them work out how they feel about it.
  • Don't judge others. If someone comes to you with a problem, help them work through whatever they're dealing with and suggest options rather than pass judgement.
  • Accept that they may disagree with you. If someone comes to you for help or advice, don’t expect them to do exactly what you say. While they may have sought your advice, they may also disagree with it. Let them choose their own path.
  • Ask open questions. Instead of asking ‘yes/no’ questions, use open questions that let the speaker take the discussion in the direction they want. For example: ‘Can you tell me about...?’
  • Show them you're listening. Ask questions about what they tell you, and recap what they’ve said in different words to see if you've got it right. People will trust you more if they know you're really listening to them. 

Be an assertive communicator

There are three main ways to communicate:

  • Aggressive communication involves speaking in a forceful and hostile manner that alienates others.
  • Passive communication is characterised by not expressing your thoughts, feelings or wishes. This form of communication can make you feel like others are walking all over you.
  • Assertive communication involves clearly expressing what you think, how you feel and what you want, without demanding that you must have things your way.

When you are assertive, you can:

  • express your own thoughts, feelings and needs
  • make reasonable requests of other people (while respecting their right to say ‘no’)
  • stand up for your own rights
  • say ‘no’ to requests from others, without feeling guilty.

Mind your body language

The way you speak – including the volume and tone of your voice, your physical gestures and your facial expressions – has an important impact on how your message will be received. For example, if you fold your arms in front of your chest and look stern, people are likely to feel defensive even before they’ve heard what you have to say.

On the other hand, an open posture, calm voice and relaxed body language will help the other person feel at ease.

Here's an acronym that might help you remember good body language:

R – Be relaxed and comfortable, and don't fidget

O – Adopt an open posture (no crossed arms)

LLean towards the person – not too much, but just enough to show interest

E – Maintain eye contact, without staring

S – Face the person squarely

What can I do now?

  • Be aware of how your body language can make people feel comfortable.
  • Practise assertive communication, by saying what you think, how you feel and what you want.
  • Practise asking people about themselves, and remember to let them talk without interruption.
  • Read about how to have difficult conversations.

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20 Tips for Talking to Anyone




20 Tips for Talking to Anyone

20 cards June 20, 2020 274 282 views

Liana Khaziakhmetova

The ability to communicate is a key skill for anyone striving for success. It's no secret that communicative people have a head start: they are more noticeable, they make you feel welcome, you just want to deal with them. Here are tips from the best psychology books on how to get along with anyone. nine0003


Honey-smeared places

Communication books usually impose an extroverted, fun-loving approach: feign carelessness until it becomes second nature. But this is impossible.

Here is a tip from the Science of Communication book. For successful communication, you need to know your strengths - and use them competently. For example, chat where you feel comfortable. Make a list of places where you enjoy spending time: in a coffee shop, in a park. Or maybe you are more comfortable communicating in messengers. nine0003

Remember the places where you are “smeared with honey”. In them you relax and flourish. Try to hold important meetings there.



Scientists conducted an experiment: they asked people to listen to a recording in which a student tells how well he did on a test. One group of subjects heard that at the end the student spilled a cup of coffee on himself and planted a stain. The other one is not. The researchers asked both groups what impression the student made. In the recording where he spilled coffee on himself, he seemed more attractive to the subjects. Mistakes make us human. Show your vulnerability and it will be easier for you to get along with people. nine0003


Don't get obsessed

Most of us just feel like we stand out a lot. After all, each person is the center of his universe. Because we're so fixated on our behavior, it's hard for us to accurately gauge how close—or shallow—attention others are paying to us. In fact, there is often a discrepancy between how we see ourselves (and think others do) and how others see us. Most will not notice your mistakes and oversights. nine0003


Learn to joke

Not a single speech by the leaders of different countries can do without a joke, and there can be no more serious and responsible work. The ability to joke helps to reduce the tension of discussing any acute problem. But you have to be able to present a joke like a gourmet dish from a chef. There is no need to hurry, and in no case should the speaker himself laugh at his witticism.


Look for clues

Thread theory is an incredibly easy way to start a conversation, and besides, you will always have a few thoughts to continue the conversation. The more common topics, that is, threads, you find, the longer your communication will last - and the more sympathy you will cause. There are three main categories of general conversation topics that can serve you well in any situation - common acquaintances, common interests, and common motives. nine0003


Arouse curiosity

To engage a person in a dialogue, you need to arouse his interest, especially for sales managers. They only care about what is directly related to their business needs, not your product. And remember: you are not trying to sell. You strive to prove that talking to you is worth the time spent.


Communicate as equals

Communicate as equals can be intimidating if you are young or have never worked with people who make major corporate decisions. Understand: they are ordinary people. If in a conversation with them you look at them with canine devotion, this will affect your credibility. Focus on their business goals and the changes you can make, and they'll be interested in talking to you. nine0003


Pause in conversations

Often we ask a question and, without listening to the answer, continue talking. Another common communication mistake is answering your own question. There are only downsides to this: it will be uncomfortable for a person to communicate with us, and we will not learn anything about him, his requests, benefits, and our arguments will most likely turn out to be weak and will not affect his decision. That is why every time you ask a question, it is important to pause, give the person the opportunity to answer, and listen to him! nine0003


Tune in

You don't have to like everyone. It will take you more time to make connections or apply new behavioral tricks in a place that only makes you feel anxious and uncomfortable. By controlling the place, time, and person you interact with, you can set yourself up for success.


Use Your Hands

The best TED speakers use a specific mechanism to instantly build trust with their audience: they gesticulate a lot. The least popular speakers used an average of 272 hand gestures—yes, the analyzers painstakingly counted each one. The most popular speakers used an average of 465 hand gestures—almost double that! nine0003


Position yourself as a winner

Winners usually take up as much physical space as possible. Their posture is often referred to as the "power posture": they raise their arms above their heads, straighten their chests, and throw their heads back. Sometimes we unknowingly put ourselves in the pose of a loser when we check the phone. Imagine: you tilt your head, cross your arms over your chest, press them tightly to your body and lower your shoulders. What do most of us do while waiting for a client or before entering an office where a meeting is taking place? Checking the phone! We need to put an end to this vicious practice! nine0003


Be an enthusiastic fan

People love being labeled positively. They improve our self-image and gently push us to be better.

Here are some phrases you can use.

- "Yes, you know everyone here - you must be an expert in networking!"

- "I am overwhelmed by your dedication to this company - they are incredibly lucky to have you."

- "You are so well versed in this matter - how glad I am that you are among the guests today." nine0003

Let the interlocutor charm you, let him impress you. Listen to how eloquently he paints his ideas. Find a way to enhance their effect. Share his enthusiasm.


Imagine yourself in the place of the interlocutor

A great way to establish contact, to help a person open up and hear what he has to say, is to ask him questions like this:

- “How did you do it?”

- "Why did you do that?" nine0003

- "How did you feel?"

To actively participate in the conversation and be able to respond to the interlocutor's words with relevant questions and remarks, imagine yourself in the situation in which he is or which he describes to you. So you will experience at least a small fraction of what he experienced, and you will be able to grasp, hear the essence, which will allow you to respond correctly - so that the interlocutor will want to tell you even more.


Remember people by their names and interests

Stop passively listening to your interlocutor - scratch his vanity behind the ear. Remember the people you talk to, from their names to their interests. Stop empty talk - start a strong relationship.

Here's a tip to help you remember the person's name. When you hear a person's name, address him by name. "Nice to meet you, Eliza!" or "Elise, this is my colleague Jenna." This activates auditory memory and allows you to hear the name spoken in your voice. At the same time, you provide the interlocutor with a small burst of dopamine. nine0003


Listen with your eyes

Pay attention to micro-expressions during a conversation and you will learn the whole truth about a person. This method is based on the search for the emotion behind the words. The point here is to listen to a person, perceiving what he says, by ear, as well as with his eyes.

Microexpressions disappear very quickly - in less than a second. Anything that lasts longer becomes a normal facial expression. Why is it so important? Microexpressions (less than a second) are uncontrollable, so they give out true emotions. Facial expressions (longer than a second) can be faked, they may not be real. Therefore, you need to look at short flashes of emotions and reflex reactions in order to get the most reliable idea of ​​​​the interlocutor. nine0003


Changing the way you think

The main barrier to successful communication is your way of thinking, writes Mark Rhodes in How to Talk to Anyone. The development of communication skills will largely depend on what meaning you attach to the reaction to your words.

For example, if you are trying to talk to someone and the other person looks away, what meaning would you give to that? You may think that you did something wrong and conclude that talking to strangers is unacceptable. And then you are unlikely to seek to strike up conversations with strangers. But what if your interlocutor was just shy? If you give his behavior just such a meaning, the result will be completely different. Changing the way you think is what helps you overcome fear and learn how to talk to anyone. nine0003


Coping with Fear of Criticism

A good way to overcome fear is to imagine the worst case scenario and then imagine how you are coping with that situation. Thus, you mentally, as it were, mark your fear, and this, in turn, will help you get rid of it or at least reduce it. For example, you can imagine that something is misunderstood and everyone is laughing at you. Now imagine saying to these people in such a caustic tone: "I'm very glad that you liked it" or: "I'm glad I made you smile." Imagine yourself as a comedian parrying the audience's lines. By doing so, you demonstrate that the reaction does not really excite or scare you. nine0003


Play with your voice

Another well-known but effective way to achieve mutual understanding with the interlocutor is to match the pace of his speech. That is, if he speaks fast enough, you should try to speak at the same pace, unless, of course, this gives you too much inconvenience. Matching the pace of speech is necessary not only for mutual understanding. Different people perceive and process information at different speeds. This is reflected in the speed of speech. Therefore, if someone speaks relatively slowly, or the pace of their speech is noticeably slower than yours, this may mean that he needs to think carefully. nine0003


Use conversation starters

Most of the conversations we have with strangers are similar.

— What do you do? Oh cool. And where are you from? Mm, never been there. What brought you here? Clear. Well, I'll go get another drink...

Boring! There is no emotional stimulus, no spark, no heights. After such a conversation, we can often hardly remember the name of a new acquaintance, let alone address him again. But why start a conversation with a new client if it will be so boring that he won’t remember it later anyway? Let's change the situation. nine0003

A conversation to be remembered involves fresh questions that spark communication. They spark new ideas, bring up topics that no one would think of, start deep discussions.

Try to start with an unexpected question that will spark genuine interest in the eyes of your interlocutor.


Show Warmth

Trying to figure out if we can be trusted, others look for warmth in us from the very beginning, writes Susan David in the book Emotional Flexibility. It doesn't mean "hugs", "caring" or "a guy I'd like to have a beer with". By warmth, we mean friendliness, loyalty, empathy, which are taken as proof of good intentions. nine0003

How to demonstrate warmth? Research shows that warm people tend to make eye contact, nod, and smile. During the dialogue, maintain eye contact both when you speak and when you listen. Nod occasionally to show that you understand the other person. Smile, especially when the other person is doing the same.

The main thing is to focus on what you are being told. People need to feel that they are being heard, even if you cannot fulfill their request or provide specific assistance. nine0003

The ability to communicate is the main tool of a successful person / News / Press Center / Menu / Altai Branch of the RANEPA

Lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Sociology of Management of the Altai Branch of the RANEPA, clinical psychologist Evgenia Goncharova, shared her expert opinion on How to learn to make contact.

The most important component in the formula for success is the ability to find a common language with people.

Theodore Roosevelt

We all know what role the ability to communicate with people plays in our daily life and how important it is to have effective communication skills in a variety of situations and when establishing contact with different categories of people.

The ability to communicate effectively gives you the opportunity to easily and easily establish friendly relations with others, increases your prestige and popularity among colleagues, friends and acquaintances.

Is there a way to get in contact with anyone? Fortunately, there is such a way.

Any process of communication includes non-verbal and verbal components. With non-verbal contact, we use facial expressions, gestures and other body signals, and with verbal interaction, for communication, we use speech.

With such a wealth of speech, yet most people have difficulty establishing quality contact with other people.

Personality psychology, social psychology have accumulated a significant knowledge base about the barriers, styles, communication mechanisms, which became the basis for creating effective ways of communication. nine0003

Below are some effective tips that have become the basis for creating effective ways to communicate.

When talking to a person, show him your sincere interest in him and in the subject of your conversation. Give the person a chance to speak. The ability to listen is the main secret of success in establishing communication with people.

Call the person you are talking to by name.

An important element of effective communication, psychology calls addressing the interlocutor by name. The name is an element of self-identification and carries a strong energy charge. Addressing a person by name, you increase his self-esteem and dispose to a more trusting relationship. nine0003

Less talk more, listen more. Statistical studies show that most people prefer to talk much more with a person who pays more attention to the interlocutor, and not to himself.

Listen with your eyes - it is very important to focus on micro-expressions during a conversation. At the heart of this method is the search for the emotion behind the words. The point here is to listen to a person, perceiving what he says, by ear, as well as with his eyes. nine0208

Microexpressions disappear very quickly - in less than a second. Anything that lasts longer is a normal facial expression. Why is it so important? Micro-expressions (which are less than a second long) are uncontrollable, so they betray true emotions. Facial expressions (lasting more than a second) can be faked, they may not be real. Therefore, it is very important to look at short flashes of emotions and reflex reactions in order to get the most reliable idea of ​​​​the interlocutor. nine0003

Expand your horizons . A comprehensively developed person with a wide range of interests and deep knowledge in various fields, it is much easier to establish positive contact with people of different worldviews.

Ask open-ended questions. Try to ask more questions that do not require a simple one-word answer, but give the interlocutor the opportunity to express his opinion. Open questions help to establish contact with a stranger even in situations where, for various reasons, it is difficult to find a “common language”. nine0003

Overcome your subjectivity.

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