in personal or professional life on several occasions. The reason is obvious that either of the person didn’t state his/her stance in clear fashion or perceive it clearly. So where does the fault lie and how can we improve? Below are the recommendations to improve your communication skills, whether you are Communicator or Listener .
- Improve vocabulary: Every word has its own deep meanings. For example there is a difference between ‘Hate’ and ‘Dislike’. Likewise, there is a difference between ‘Should’ and ‘Must’. To enhance vocabulary you should learn new words and understand the meanings of synonyms and antonyms as well. You can use online dictionaries or built-in features of MS Word (right click on a word to know synonyms/antonyms.
- Listen carefully and listen more. If you listen more you are absorbing more and improving your level of comprehension. If you speak more you are on the verge of confusing others. So listen more and speak less. And when you speak, speak slowly and softly. Ask if you have communicated clearly or more elaboration is required.
3. If you don’t understand something, ask for elaboration. It is said that “If you doubt at first, doubt again and clear it”
- Put yourself in others’ shoes to understand their perspective. Think win-win. Analyze the situation from everyone’s perspective. Consider all the stake holders and consider their emotions. Develop Emotional Intelligence skill.
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- If you are writing Emails/Letters/Fax then re-read after you are done with typing. Considering point-4 while you review your article. You can ask someone to comment on what you have written.
- Avoid hard words to avoid bad taste: For example instead of saying ‘Rejected’ use the word ‘Not Approved’. When you say No, you should sound as if you wanted to say Yes but due to specific issue you can’t say yes. So if that issue is addressed, you will be saying Yes and Saying Approved.
- Avoid too many arguments. Convince or get convinced. If things gets complicated, take a break… engage some well-wishers to assist resolve the matter.
Further, I would recommend understanding Berlos Model of Communication. As per him, there are 4 factors which can ensure strong communication if considered properly. These are Source, Message, Channel & Receiver. By source he means that the speaker needs to have good communication skills, positive attitude, has understanding of cultural aspects and proper knowledge on the subject. By Message he means that the speaker has to use mature and to-the-point wordings. By Channel means that correct medium at correct time (phone call, physical appearance, email, fax) to be used. By Receiver he means that Receiver needs to understand the message clearly. The Receiver’s level of understanding, attitude and Listening skills matter a lot.
Conclusion: Effective Communication is an indication of your wisdom and maturity level and is critically important to enhance your personal and professional relationship. Developing this habit will improve your bonds with your friends, colleagues and family members so start working on this starting today…
What are your thoughts on how to improve communication skills in day to day life?