Statistics show that 85% of people find it annoying to repeat the information that they have shared while working with other businesses. Are you frustrated when people don’t listen to what you have to say? What can you do to make sure that they understand your message better? How can you improve your communication skills? Conversations can be difficult to navigate in certain situations but knowing how to communicate can help solve some of these problems. Keep reading to learn a few tips on how to go about this.
Opt for Face-to-Face
Much of what we say can be lost in translation. There’s no way to read tone or urgency over text or body language over a phone call. Opting to speak face to face whenever you can is one way to improve your overall communication efforts. Being able to look into someone’s eyes when sharing information, instructions, or a story is vital to knowing if they are receiving that information.
While you may feel like you are listening to someone, you may be in your own head preparing your response to what they are saying. Avoiding the urge to interrupt them is key because it allows them to finish the thought that they were sharing and feel more respected by the fact that you did not cut them off as they were speaking. Focusing on actively listening can enrich your relationships because you will learn more when you are not crafting an immediate response.
Are you unsure about something in the training that you just took? How can you gain clarity? One way to do this is by asking questions. So many people are afraid to ask questions when they are uncertain because they see it as a weakness or want to appear as though they understood the material presented. Asking questions is a sign that you were actively listening and just may need additional detail on something that was covered.
Write Things Down
Write down the little things that you learn in meetings and with friends or family. Knowing how someone takes their coffee or when your parents are going on a vacation can help your communication with them. Offering to watch your parent’s house or take care of their pets while they’re gone shows that you were listening to their communication about the trip and are now acting on it.
Pay Attention to Timing
When is the best time to share big news? How can you have a difficult conversation with your significant other? Timing is very important in all of this. Word vomiting on someone when they first arrive home from work or even when they first wake up in the morning is not a wise idea. They likely won’t be able to fully take in what you are saying and you will need to repeat it again at a later time.
Read Body Language
There is a good chance that you know when your family, friends, or coworkers are in a bad mood or upset about something. This makes you less likely to communicate with them aside from checking in on how they are doing. Reading body language in any conversation can help you better communicate by knowing when to stop talking or when to ask certain questions.
Extend an Invite
Not everyone is going to call you up to grab coffee or watch the football game on Sunday. Extending an invite to catch up with an old friend and talking for a few hours can be a beneficial thing for the both of you. Being the one to initiate this shows that you can communicate that you would like to see that person and hear what they have to say. If you are feeling the need to talk to a mental health professional, text therapy could be an option to get the conversation started.
Know Your Audience
Are certain jokes or information better for some audiences than others? The answer is yes. Depending on who you are talking to, sometimes the subject matter of your conversation needs to be altered. You aren’t likely to talk about bad news with a 4 year old but may share your thoughts on it with their parents.
If you want someone to follow specific directions when driving somewhere to meet you, it is important to be specific so that they can find their way. This is important because communication relies on the idea that you can get the information across successfully to the other person.
While it can be annoying, it is necessary to repeat things at times. Repeating what time you are meeting tomorrow or what your plans are can be helpful to both you and the person that you are communicating with.
As you have read, becoming a better communicator is not a terribly difficult undertaking. Practicing these simple steps can help you on your journey to be a better one. The sooner you start working on those communication skills, the much sooner you can find yourself saying what you mean, without issue — and people actually understanding your intentions the first time!