Effective communication is the backbone of every good relationship. It’s an essential part of our daily lives, both in the social and business worlds. If you don’t get it right, your association and relation with other people could crumble in a flash. Whether you are a manager or a business owner, part of the success of your company will heavily rely on whether or not communication is effective and streamlined.
How you communicate can paint a certain picture in the minds of your audience. If you are not concrete and confident in conveying your message, for instance, your audience could view you as a wannabe, quack, or fraud at the very worst. If you are well-composed and use the right channels, on the other hand, your message will not only reach a broader audience, it will also be convincing and compelling at the same time. Needless to mention, communication is not a cup of tea to all of us. Many people struggle with vocabulary, expression issues, stage fright, and a range of other challenges depending on the message and means of communication used.
Without further ado, here are a few important lessons you may want to learn from an experienced communication expert.
Lesson #1: It Impacts Reputation
As earlier hinted, your communication methods and effectiveness can have a huge impact on your reputation as a brand or individual. When you stand in front of people, what you say and how you say it will determine what people think of you. Especially in a highly competitive city like London, your business communication methods can determine whether or not you have an edge over your competition. On this front, a London-based PR agency called Alfred insists that brands should communicate vividly about who they are and what they offer to whom. Most importantly, the communication should reveal what they stand for through the appropriate communication channels. This way, such a business can come out as reputable, reliable, and appealing to its target audience.
Lesson #2: Learn to Listen Keenly
Communication is a two-way process that requires you to listen carefully so that you can respond appropriately. Nonetheless, most poor communicators do not really listen during a conversation. They are thinking about what they plan to say next.
According to communication experts, listening is even more than hearing. In fact, listening keenly means you’re not only paying attention to the words being spoken but also how they are being conveyed. In other words, a good listener is fully attentive to the person speaking and is also fully concentrated on both what he/she is saying or not saying. Improving your listening skills definitely pays off whether in your relationship at work or at home.
Lesson #3: Non-Verbal Communication Matters
Non-verbal communication covers over 80% of how messages are received. So, studying and understanding non-verbal communication is an essential element of effective communication. While most people think that non-verbal communication is just body language, it actually covers more than that. Non-verbal communication includes but not limited to:
- Tone and pitch of your voice
- Body movement.
- Eye contact.
- Facial expressions.
- Physiological changes, e.g. Sweating, etc.
So, if you pay proper attention to people’s non-verbal cues during a conversation, you can actually understand them better. Also, you can ensure your message is conveyed clearly by incorporating efficient body language consistently with your words. Otherwise, without proper non-verbal cues, you may appear as if you don’t even believe in what you’re trying to communicate. Therefore, people may have a hard time believing you.
Lesson #4: Prepare What You’re Going to Say
You have probably heard the old saying ‘think before you speak’. It’s actually true. In fact, most of us communicate best after processing our own thoughts properly before opening our mouths to share them. Being a better communicator means staying as composed as possible during a conversation. Sometimes he/she will pause a little to process some statements before speaking them up.
So, if you feel that the conversation or meeting is worth your valuable time, then it is prudent to take some moments to organize your speech draft. If the meeting is very important, it is advisable to try a mock-up conversation with someone that you trust. That way, you’re able to identify and avoid any potential mistakes during the actual day.
Lesson #5: Be Ready for Different Answers and Perspectives
No matter how efficient you’re during communication, you can’t predict with certainty the reaction of your audience. In fact, expecting different responses and answers will just but improve your chances of a successful conversation with your audience. This is because you are prepared and ready to accommodate different perspectives of the conversation. Therefore, your listeners won’t catch you unaware.
To sum it up, communicating effectively is not always a walk in the park. When coming up with a speech, for instance, you need to put yourself into the shoes of someone likely to be listening to you. It pays to visualize some of the possible disagreements your audience may have. That way, you will be more prepared to defend your standpoint more logically and confidently. Hopefully, these few lessons can help you become better at communication.