10 Effective Communication Techniques You Need to Know
Communication is a fundamental aspect of our lives, yet it means different things to different people. For one person, it might represent personal connection, while for another, it might be a simple transfer of information. Regardless of the meaning we give to communication, we should realize that we are communicating at all times. In this article, we will explore ten proven techniques that can help you become a better communicator.
1. Start with being present
In today’s world, distractions are all around us, and they are winning. Recent statistics show that the average attention span is as low as eight seconds and dropping. To communicate effectively, you need to be present to what is in front of you. This means focusing on the person or situation at hand and being aware of your surroundings. By being present, you plant a seed for future relationships, and you avoid miscommunication caused by distraction.
2. Check your tone
Voice tone and delivery are a big part of our communication. Therefore, bring awareness to how you sound to someone. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Your tone can make the difference between being perceived as caring or condescending.
3. Know your desired outcome
Before engaging in any communication, be aware of what you want to achieve. Rather than getting caught up in reaction, be proactive. Sometimes you may need to take a beat to bring some awareness to your ultimate outcome. Remember, developing great relationships make everything easier for you. To develop great relationships, you must have good communication. Therefore, pay attention to your ultimate desire, not just each interaction.
4. Create Commonalities
You will get further, faster when you find ways to relate to each other. Look for similarities in anything. Even during relationship conflicts, relate with someone from experience and open up to show that you are like them. People like other people who are like them.
5. Mirror Body Language to Build Rapport
You can use mirroring to develop another form of good communication. Mirroring is when you subtly start to emulate the person you are communicating with, from their breathing pattern to their positioning and eye movements. This technique subconsciously creates a commonality or likeness between you and the person you are communicating with.
6. Buffer Criticisms with Positives
When in a position where you are critiquing someone, always lead the criticism with a positive acknowledgment. This opens the person up to you and shows them that you care. Deliver the critique and follow it by more positive praise. Remember, developing good communication skills means knowing how to deliver information effectively.
7. Stay on Top of It
Effective communicators make people feel secure. Thus, create ease by circling back and closing any gaps. Developing good communication means that you not only communicate clearly, but are the owner and in charge of whatever you are communicating. No one wants to feel like the other person has dropped the ball.
8. Engage with Hooks
Engage people by speaking to what will benefit them. This is referred to as a hook. The more you are aware of someone’s needs, the more they are open to you, and the better they will receive you. Find a hook that grabs their attention and proceed.
9. Listen to Understand
We tend to listen for the next opportunity to speak. Even if the person you are communicating with doesn’t consciously see that, they will feel it. Instead, listen to understand what someone is saying. If you don’t know, ask in a way that shows you are interested in where they are coming from.
10. Pick up on Cues
Knowing when to approach someone, when to wrap up a conversation, or how to deliver information will help you become an effective communicator. Always pay attention to who is receiving your message. Is it a good time? Are they open? Are they in the best mood to hear what you have to say? These are cues to pay attention to. Before you initiate communication, make sure it will be heard.
Effective communication is a vital skill for personal and professional success. By practicing these ten proven techniques, you’ll be on your way to becoming a better communicator. Remember, communication goes beyond just the words you use. It’s also about your tone, body language, and how you deliver information. With continued practice and intention, you can become a great communicator that connects with people, no matter the context.