1. Always be prepared to listen.
As much as people like to be heard, listening is just as important. Really listen to what other people have to say, allow them to get their point across. If you are unsure of what you have heard, ask the person to clarify, rather than assuming. When you are listening to someone, the person speaking to you should be the most important person, you should give them your full attention throughout. Another point to remember is to only hold one conversation at a time. Do not answer a phone call in the middle of someone talking to you, it’s bad manners and you wouldn’t appreciate it if it was you trying to be heard.
2. Who you are talking to matters.
You may think it’s appropriate to use informal language and slang when you are communicating with your friend or partner, but always remember that if you are emailing or texting your boss, any informal language has no place in your message. You can’t assume that the other person will know what it means. Also, the message may be misinterpreted. Some acronyms have different meanings to different people, do you want to be misunderstood? Effective communicators target their message based on who they are speaking to, so try to bare the other person in mind at all times.
3. Body language is very important.
Body language is so important, especially when you are face-to-face with someone. Always ensure that you appear accessible, so have open body language. This means that you should not cross your arms. Eye contact also plays a huge part in body language, and will tell people a lot about you. If the person you are talking or listening to has full eye contact with you throughout the conversation, this will show them that you are paying attention.
4. Proof read messages and emails.
Spelling and grammar checkers are lifesavers. Always double check what you have written, spending an extra 10 minutes out of your, to proof read what you are about to send can have a huge impact. It is important that your words make sense to ensure the message is correctly understood by the receiver.
5. Be brief, yet specific.
For written and verbal communication, practice being brief but also, try to remain specific enough. You want to provide enough information for the other person to understand what you are trying to say. And if you are responding to an email, make sure that you read the entire email before responding.
6. Think before you speak.
Always pause before you speak, not saying the first thing that comes to mind. Take a moment and pay close attention to what you say and how you say it, this one habit will allow you to avoid any embarrassments.
7. Maintain a positive attitude.
Even when you are speaking on the phone, smile because your positive attitude will shine through. When you smile often and have a positive attitude, people will respond positively to you.