Effective communicators talk about their ideas, by doing it in a way that speaks to their audience’s emotions and ambitions – whether it’s one person or a room of hundreds or thousands. Effective communicators realize that if their message doesn’t resonate with the audience then it likely won’t be understood, much less championed. They are skilled at developing rapport with a person/group by sensing the subtleties, attitudes, values and concerns of those they’re communicating with.
Listed below are 7 Effective Communication Tips that may prove helpful during your next interaction…which just may happen immediately after you’ve finished reading this post!
1. Authentic Communication. There is great truth in this adage: “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Focus on being clear and real. When you are willing to communicate with the spirit of caring rather than the arrogance of ego, you will be demonstrating a level of authenticity that will be well received by others.
2. Be Visible. It’s easy to hide behind a computer or a closed door. Communication through technology is no substitute for face-to-face and voice-to-voice interactions. People are pulled in many different directions these days, and need to feel a personal connection to you and what you believe in. MBWA is still relevant in today’s world.
3. Keep it Simple. Learn to communicate with clarity. An effective communicator will take a complex message and simplify it for their audience. Don’t give them the opportunity to tune you out. They’re probably being bombarded 24/7 by information, making it hard to hear your message. Simplicity has never been more powerful or appreciated.
4. Focus on Giving. Approach each interaction by being a selfless servant. Give more than you receive and you will achieve your result. The more you focus on their wants and needs rather than making it about you and your agenda, the better the end result.
5. Have an Open Mind. Be willingly to interact with any ‘devils advocates’ or ‘naysayers’, as they may have a perspective that’s important for you to consider. Being willing to approach those who challenge you is an opportunity for you to stretch, learn and grow.
6. Listen Aggressively. The most effective communications take place within two-way conversations. Effective communicators know how to ask good questions, and then listen with both their eyes and ears. They realize that both verbal and nonverbal cues are important. My clients really appreciate it when I coach them during a session – not necessarily on what they do say; rather, what they don’t say. That comes from aggressive listening. When you master this skill, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
7. Preparation Comes First. Effective communicators don’t just talk to hear themselves speak. They are thoughtful about the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of their communication before any interaction. Have a clear message with the intention of communicating it so that it is of interest to others. Spending a little extra time on the front-end may save you considerable aggravation on the back-end.
Most importantly, keep in mind that effective communication is not about you or your opinions. It’s about helping others by meeting their needs, understanding their concerns, and adding value to their world. Taking action on one or more of these tips is a positive start to enhancing your effective communication skills.