Most of the time we assume we are communicating effectively but how often do you say ¨what i meant was…¨ or ¨I don´t think you understood me clearly?¨ Do you find that you have to repeat something simply because an email has been misinterpreted or a conversation misunderstood? Learning to communicate effectively is a skill that you need to develop if you want to excel in your relationships and increase your productivity. Here are some simple ways to boost your communication to positively impact your results.
Organize your thoughts
Before you need to communicate something important. If you need to talk about ideas or if you really ardent about something, you could really benefit from thinking about some key points you want to communicate before. Think about the 3 or 4 main ideas you want to transmit and organize your thoughts in your head. This is help you keep focused on effectively communicating what you need to and to keep you on track. You will save time because your thoughts are collected and organized and not vague and all over the place.
Explain clearly and clarify
Don´t assume the other person understood what you said just because you said it. When you are explaining something for example, take a few minutes to think about the best way to transmit what you want to say so that you obtain the outcome that you want from that conversation. Before you walk away, it is vital to check that the other person understands what you said. In a work environment, in delegating or collaborating, this is essential. By simply asking the other person to repeat what they have understood, you will prevent time wasted because the job has been done incorrectly to what was understood, you can walk away feeling confident that the other person understands exactly what you require.
Do you really listen to what the other person is saying or are you listening to a conversation inside your own mind at the same time? To really listen actively, you want to be listening to what the other person is saying and not letting your mind drift off to your own thoughts during the conversation. You don´t want to be thinking about how you are going to respond while you are listening. Just listen, it is simple, pay attention and then you will really understand what the other person is saying.
The art of questioning
Asking the right questions is another key point to effectively communicating. You want to be careful when asking questions, so that the other person does not get offended or defensive, which could then lead the conversation in the opposite direction. For example, don’t ask a colleague or employee why they didn’t do something, they will most probably get defensive. Instead ask – what stopped them from doing something. Certain common words have certain emotions attached to them and you really want to avoid them if you can. Take the word ¨but¨ as another example; – whenever you hear it, you probably know you will receive bad news straight after and your immediately emotionally connected to the sentence. Become aware of the words you choose you use.
Communicating effectively is a voluntary skill that you can develop. There are many barriers and filters in communication, what we say and what the other person hears can be very different. If you want to take some simple steps to start mastering your communication, start by implementing these easy tips.