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Published on April 24th, 2018 | by Jones


The best ways to improve your communication skills

There are a million reasons why you should be concerned about your communication skills. You are constantly communicating whether you open your mouth or not. And it’s important to be aware of how you communicate with others as their interpretations of you could lead to a misunderstanding.

You need to be able to communicate clearly at home, with friends, at work and with strangers. And it’s not something you can escape, so you might as well make sure you’re great at it. There are a few things you can do to improve your communication skills for your everyday and professional life.  

Read more novels and articles

Reading not only gives you more topics of discussion to bring up in conversation, but it also improves your vocabulary. Which, ultimately, makes you a clear communicator. We say more novels and articles because they each have qualities that may be attractive to one or other type of person. By this, we mean that not everyone enjoys reading. And you can’t expect those types of people to tackle a novel when they won’t enjoy it. In their case, articles are the better option with less of a word count, straight to the point and, generally, about something they have an interest in.

As long as you’re reading good quality books and articles on certified publications, you’re bound to learn new words, new word contexts and read something informative and entertaining at the same time.

Improve your writing skills

Reading and writing go hand in hand so, unsurprisingly, improving your writing skills is next on the list. And when you improve your writing skills, it’s not about having a neater handwriting (especially since “writing” these days means typing on a computer keyboard). It’s also not about improving the number of words you can type in a minute. Although, that will happen by default anyway.

When you improve your writing skills, you’re improving your ability to construct comprehensible pieces of content that can then be communicated. Take your job, for example. How many times have you been asked to put together a presentation for a client, set up a meeting with fellow employees or compile a report for company records? Have you ever considered how a business writing skills course could help you ace those tasks?

Writing skills make sentence construction an easier and more logical task. Your mind is in the process of learning how to say what it is you want to say in a way that makes complete sense. So when it comes to communicating in person, you already know how to structure and source your responses.

Proof before you do anything else

Before you write and before you speak, you need to “proof” your words. By rambling on and on about, well, at this point, you don’t even know what anymore, isn’t communicating. Think before you speak – not only because you might say something offensive, but because you might not be clear or make any sense. Check before you send – most things are easier to explain in person, but many conversations happen over messaging and emails. You need to make sure that what you’ve written is an accurate description of what you mean to be communicating.

It’s not always appropriate to speak from the heart and it pays to be prepared and precise in what you do end up saying or writing. Remember, everyone has their own ways of interpreting information. And if you aren’t clear, there’s a chance you’ll be misunderstood or even offend the person you’re communicating with. So, be sure to proof before anything else.

It’s not all about all about what you say

How you structure the things you say is important. But it’s equally important to understand that it’s not, actually, all about what you say. The act of communication is supposed to involve feedback and interactive responses between communicator and recipient in which both parties become communicators.

This means there will come a time where you need to be silent and you’ll need to listen. Learning to listen will improve your communication skills because you’ll be able to follow the conversation and provide relevant information in response. It also helps you understand that it takes more than one communicator to communicate and that their input is valuable and necessary in order for you have something relevant to say.

Understand nonverbal cues

The last aspect that will improve your communication skills is understanding non-verbal cues. Some people forget that facial expressions, body language, gestures, tone of voice and inflections, proxemics, haptics, eye contact and personal appearance are all communicative cues of a person. These are examples of nonverbal expressions that communicators aren’t always aware they’re doing, but that recipients are bound to pick up on.

So, while your mouth may be saying one thing, the rest of your body may be saying another. The best communicators are able to distinguish between the two forms of communication and interpret the message accordingly.

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About the Author

A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.

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