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Effective Communication:

Author : Bernard Kirk   Top Author

The more effective you are as a COMMUNICATOR the more SUCCESSFUL you will be in life

Critical MUST DO steps to improve your communication skills:

· LISTEN. You can’t communicate effectively if you have not listened to what the other person is saying or asking, so keep quiet and listen! Pay very close attention to what the other person is saying. Don’t switch off your listening action to start formulating a reply until you have heard the full story. Make eye contact, don’t interrupt unless you are losing track and you need to clarify something. Nod occasionally to signify you are understanding. If appropriate, make notes. Making the other person feel heard, important and understood will build a deeper and stronger bond between the two of you. Let them talk. It’s important that they say what they need to say.Did you know researchers have found that people prefer talking about themselves even more than having sex?

· FOCUS on the speaker, check out the body language being exhibited, including your own. Show empathy.

· ASK QUESTIONS. Remember you are there to listen and gather the facts. The more you learn the more helpful you will be. Probe if appropriate. You are truly listening if you say something like “Earlier on you mentioned XYZ, can you expand on that please?” Make sure you understand what the real and not the apparent problem is.

· LET THE OTHER PERSON FINISH. If the person is angry, stay calm, let them get it all out. You can say something like “Sounds like this really upset you,” and listen to the response. Rephrase what you feel the other person is getting at.

· When responding, it’s not only what you say, it’s HOW YOU SAY IT that is very important. Your tone of voice and your gestures will pretty soon determine if the other person will stop listening. People are able to read interest, boredom, anger, frustration or joy from the tone of your voice. Showing impatience, talking over the other person, not paying attention, constantly using your cellphone, or acting condescendingly will destroy any meaningful communication. Don’t multi –task while supposedly paying undivided attention. Reverse the roles and see how you feel.

· COMMUNICATE CLEARLY. Avoid sentences that are ambiguous. Make sure you cover every point, even the contentious ones. Prepare and plan if possible. Ask the other party if they feel all points have been covered. Make sure you are clearly understood. If you happen to be teaching someone something, remember the Learner hasn’t learnt if the Teacher hasn’t taught.

· POSITIVES. When in discussion we tend to seek out the weak areas and pounce on them. Find something positive in what the other person has said and give them credit for that. Use their names if there are more than two parties in the discussion. My professor at university once told me we could ignore everything that has been said before the words “Yes, but.” Bear this in mind.

· If you are ANGRY, start a sentence with “I feel…”. If your boss has done something like reprimanding you in front of others, go to him the next day(always better because of the cool off period) and say, “you know, you really hurt me yesterday when you …..”

· TEXTING and EMAILS tend to be very poor forms of communication. The English language can be so ambiguous that a question like “What do you think?” could mean a question, derision, mockery, resignation, or anything else. I once consulted to a company where two senior people were communicating by email to one another in adjacent cubicles and the longer it went on the more upset they became with each other. When we all got together, it was a simple misunderstanding that had escalated to become a huge problem.

· Business related TELEPHONE COMMUNICATIONS. After the basic greeting, stick to the point, using your prepared notes. People just don’t have the time for long, waffling, meandering, disjointed conversations. Plan what you want to say, say it, and respond where necessary. Speak clearly and don’t mumble.

· SPELLING and COMPREHENSION. When you do send a written communication. Make sure your spelling is correct. If it’s an important letter get someone who is more accomplished in English to check it for you before you send it out. The impression you create is very important.

· DIFFERENT CULTURES. Each culture has certain mores or norms that they adhere to when communicating. Do research before a meeting so you can at least cater for the more important basic needs of the other group.

· NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION is just as important and the way we sit, dress, and present ourselves will be the subject of a future article.

Author's Resource Box

The first thing Bernard Kirk tells his clients is that the absolute critical factor in any business is people.

With seventeen years of operational management, twenty two years of strategy implementation for multiple entrepreneurs, professionals and high level businesses across the globe, Bernard is an expert in how people affect outcomes.

Having the right people doing the right things in the right job, is usually the difference between mediocrity and greatness for both the individual and the organization. Bernard’s methods of determining what needs to be done by what type of person and how to select and retain those persons has attracted interest on an international basis. Bernard has consulted in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing, medical, recycling professional and academic fields. He lives in Arizona, USA.

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Tags:   Communication, Customer service, performance, behavior, interviewing, success, job descriptions, person specifications, organizational structure, entrepreneur, business, organization, influencers, management style, strategic planning, job satisfaction, management, organizing, effectiveness, performance, success, competence, listening skills, critical thinking skills, strategy, meetings, attention span, tasks, leadership, managerial, employment skills

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Submitted : 2014-01-03    Word Count : 793    Times Viewed: 1672