Communication is at the core of any relationship whether it is friendly, romantic or professional. And that was the most boring intro I have every committed to the written word. What can I say, this topic isn’t exactly the most stimulating, and it’s about talking better for Pete’s sake. If you like, every time I say communicate or communication (or any derivative of the words) imagine explosions in the back-ground and the fanfare-ious 1812 Overture playing in the background. Can you hear it? Okay, good.
So, how do you improve your communication skills?
Becoming a more effective communicator much like everything else in the corporate world, is about results. Unless you’re a no-good-hippie that doesn’t offer anything to society but proof that patchouli is not a pleasant smell, you usually embark on a journey knowing the destination. Communication is no different; think of it as walking with your lips and without having an end point, you are just wasting energy. Know what you want to say and what you’d expect from the person you are communicating with will help you be more specific and less convoluted. If you’re shooting from the hip (or the lip more appropriately) then that opens you up to ambiguous language that inhibits clear communication.
Sure, you could be communicating with someone, asking questions and getting responses but are your questions worth asking? If you have something to add when you are communicating with a co-worker or supervisor, think about if it is actually worth being said. Restricting yourself to two or three additions or questions will force you to consider the real core of what is being communicated instead of concentrating on mundane details such as, “You said ‘is’ but shouldn’t it be ‘was’?” Also don’t be a grammar Nazi, no one likes Nazis and no one likes grammar (well, no one that is well adjusted and mentally healthy), so think about how much people loath the synergy of the two.
3. Eye Contact
I’m not surprised that you don’t really have down the nuances of social protocol…I can see it by the way you keep rubbing your nipples while we talk. Making eye contact and the right amount of eye contact is a significant component of clear and effective communication. Veer too much away from eye contact and you’ll seem like a hyperactive 9 year old with too much sugar in her blood and transversely making too much eye contact like an unblinking shark barreling towards its prey can also have adverse effects on communication. Make eye contact to help engage with the person you are talking to thus helping retention of the items being spoken about.
4. Take Notes
You sir do not have eidetic memory; see you don’t even remember what eidetic is. Trying to keep everything in your head can also put you at risk for cognitive fatigue which can even result in depression if experienced for an extended period of time. Also, information that you will write down, if filed carefully, can be recalled on demand, remembering something you know isn’t easy to do from memory. I mean, just yesterday you called Trump, the village idiot with a dead cat on his head. Oh, that was on purpose…I’m sorry I thought that you couldn’t remember who he was…
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