Communication skills are the most difficult skill that we start building in the early childhood and which we keep improving throughout all our life.
If a person lacks communication skills, it limits the size of his possible audience and the variety of situations in which he may be successful. One of your primary goals as a future genius of communication is to constantly improve your skill and learn new ways to communicate with others. This way you will always be ready to interact successfully with any person. No matter if it’s your friend, relative, colleague or business partner.
Have you ever asked yourself why some people can find a common language and gain the trust of complete strangers in just a few minutes and without any problems? And why others are unable to agree with their own relatives? Why people often call “extremely pleasant man” someone, who on the first glimpse doesn’t seem to be very standing out? And why sometimes people avoid talking to a person who seems to be very smart, intelligent and nice? The answer to all these questions is one: these people have different communication skills.
Ability to communicate with people is one of the fundamental skills to develop successful relationships with people, succeed at school or work. Here are some of the best tips and tricks that will help you to improve your communication skills.
STEP 1: Be a good listener
This is the first step on your way to improving your skills. Even though it sounds quite primitive and fairly straightforward, yet for many people it won’t be so easy to implement this advice. The ability to listen doesn’t mean that you just need to close your mouth to give another person a possibility to insert few sentences. It means that you must actually listen attentively and be interested in what your opponent says instead of pretending that you’re listening. This will not only help you to make contact but also will show respect to your interlocutor.
When people feel such attitude, it immediately changes the atmosphere in your relationship. Just think about how great you feel when someone listened with attention and interest while you enthusiastically talked about some event that is important for you.
We all just want to be heard and understood, and if you give them this opportunity you will immediately gain a lot of friends and find common language at work!
STEP 2: Remember about body language
Our gestures often tell our interlocutor much more than what we say. You can try to make another person believe that you’re open to the conversation, but if your hands are crossed, it shows him your isolation. Or you can try to convince someone that you’re listening to him, but your eyes will wander.
This is called body language, and, more likely, your interlocutor will simply “read” your gestures. If you want to improve your communication skills, you should pay attention not only to what you say but also to how you act, what expression is on your face, what shows your posture and gestures, etc.
So to become better in communications, you should first learn how to understand body language, and later apply your new knowledge on practice.
STEP 3: Forget about interrupting people
You can be a smart and interesting interlocutor, but if you tend to interrupt other people – this won’t give you good reputation! This demonstrates person that you disrespect him or her, and what is even worse – that you don’t hesitate to show it.
By interrupting someone you are almost telling them: “Hey, I don’t care what you say because what I have to say is much more important.”
Read and memorize this phrase. And whenever you feel like you want to interrupt another person, ask yourself how you would feel if someone treated you this way.
STEP 4: Work on your speech
This advice will cover several nuances, each of which is very important to improve your conversational skills.
1. Try to avoid unnecessary conversation fillers
Do you want to succeed at work, be more persuasive, and look more confident during conversation? If your answer is yes, then you must learn how to stop using filler words! Usage of such words shows the audience that you feel uncomfortable and nervous, which can distract them from what you are trying to say.
2. Say every word clearly
Your speech should be distinct, expressive and completely devoid of mutterings. If you already noticed that during conversations with others you often have to repeat what you just said, then try to work more on your diction. You can attend some courses, watch videos or simply practice at home.
If you can devote at least ten minutes per day to practice, you will be able to achieve excellent pronunciation of sounds and words.
3. Pronounce words correctly
If you often incorrectly put accents, or not sure how one or another word should be pronounced – try not to use it. Otherwise, you risk ruining your reputation.
4. Use words correctly
Don’t insert words that are not clear to you, into the conversation. And at the same time try to constantly expand your vocabulary and learn something new. To do it you can read books, watch movies, or anything that you like, and, the most important – look up meanings of words that you didn’t know before.
5. Talk steadily
If you will talk too fast or swallow words’ endings, people can think that you are an unbalanced and unconfident person. Also, it can make your speech much less understandable for others. So try to get rid of trembling in your hands, gather your thoughts and try to speak confidently, steadily and calmly.
STEP 5: Set your phone aside
This advice may seem obvious, but today many of us developed a habit of looking automatically at our phones every ten minutes to check for notifications or messages. Try to avoid doing anything with your phone during a conversation. Remember that even short glance thrown towards the phone may offend your interlocutor and spoil conversation.