5 Habits of Truly Amazing Communicators
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important life skills.
Better communication is necessary to make progress in your career, establish and maintain relationships or deal with almost every issue in your life.
An average human spends almost 90% of his time communicating with others on any given day.
Communication is such an important skill that almost every great man and woman in history has emphasized on its importance.
Everyone can communicate, but communicating well is totally another story.
Not everyone can manage a positive and effective exchange of words and emotions during a conversation.
There are very few people who are skillful enough to break basic language rules and wow their audience, either big or small, with the use of vocabulary and variations in their tone.
Communicating effectively with an individual or a group of people is definitely not a bed of roses. However, you can easily win over others by improving your communication skills.
This particular skill makes you something special, a person which others look forward to.
People start taking you more seriously and listen to you attentively if you are a great communicator.
Once you master the art of communication with others, you become the most sought-after person not only in your organization but everywhere else you go.
Many people, especially some aspiring leaders, fail to recognize the importance of communication.
As a result, they cannot generate success they dream of in their personal and professional life.
Yet, there are people who seem to have magical communication powers.
These are the people other loves to follow.
They love to assume leadership, express their ideas and infuse enthusiasm among others.
There are many things which the immensely successful communicators have in common.
Fortunately, you can also improve your communication skills. Good communication habits always come with regular practice. According to Jim Rohn, you must:
“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people.”
In this regard, the following are the top 5 habits of great communicators.
THEY ARE GREAT LISTENERS
To some people, the word conversation only means talking.
However, utter chaos normally ensues when two or more people start talking at the same time.
Therefore, listening and talking are equally important aspects of any conversation.
When you don’t interrupt others, they feel you are paying attention to them, making the exchange of ideas really enjoyable and memorable.
What makes some people better communicators than others is their ability to listen patiently.
Similarly, great communicators provide every opportunity to their partner to express their point of view.
They give them all the time in the world to explain what they think of the situation or topic under discussion.
Keep in mind that different people involved in any communication come from different backgrounds.
They have different beliefs, assumptions, experiences, filters and cultural influences of their own.
These are some of the factors which shape or determine their point of view.
It is literally impossible to observe all of these factors physically, but you have to identify them in order to communicate effectively.
You are speaking and others are listening to you without having any idea of what you are talking about is an example of poor communication.
Try to understand what your listeners have in mind to be a great communicator.
Whether things like cultural background, ethnicity, as well as personal and professional factors, influence their point of view or not?
You can only enhance your ability to be heard if you are able to recognize and appreciate these differences.
Powerful communicators never interrupt others while they are talking.
They understand that being rude will make you look less empathetic and more self-centered.
You must not offer suggestions or jump to answers or conclusions before your partner has finished talking.
In short, effective communicators are not only good talkers but even better listeners.
People usually do not love to be around a guy who happens to be too verbose.
They like the one who listens to them patiently without interrupting them.
It is the sales girl who always asks what you want to buy instead of promoting things she has in stocks.
It is your friend who always seeks answers from you politely. It is the leader who lets his team make unanimous decisions instead of imposing his ideas on them.
Listening is the most critical skill that allows you to understand your audience, enabling you to become a great communicator in the process.
THEY PRESENT THEIR POINT OF VIEW WITH FACTS
As you might expect, amazing communicators always support their claims with facts and evidence.
They never make statements which are totally baseless such as “My boss hates me”, “I am not going to get the promotion” or “My mom loves my sister more than me.”
They always verify whether or not everything they are going to say is factual.
If it is not true, they will never ever talk about it. They do not draw results merely from their observations. They wait as long as they must to find the evidence before making their claims.
Good communicators do not believe in asserting their points.
You need to convince others, especially if they do not believe in what you are propagating.
Even if you are an expert in your field, you cannot influence the thinking of others merely with your opinions.
You must include facts in your conversation to back your statements.
Replace the phrase, “I believe so” with “Just for the facts, ladies and gentlemen” in your conversation.
You must present something to authenticate the conversation otherwise the people who strongly believe you are wrong will never change their mind.
Communication is really tough and complicated.
It is against common sense to add to its intricacy by telling fake or fabricated stories.
Always keep your conversation deeply rooted in facts.
Remember that others may have totally different perception of the ideas as well as related facts.
Different factors such as your personal issues, professional stress, and your living environment determine the way you and other people see a situation.
You must avoid coloring your conversation and try to get to the bottom of everything unless you already have all the facts you need.
Facts not only make you a great communicator but also make you look more authentic.
By using facts in your conversation, you stamp your authority right in the beginning.
You can enhance your stature even more by giving value to the facts and evidence presented by others.
People start taking you as a person who cares about them, understands their issues, whatever they are, and has the knowledge and ability to lead them.
THEY USE CLEAR AND CONCISE SPEECH
Great communicators spend years and years on improving their speech and writing skills.
They seriously take the advice of their parents and teachers to learn new vocabulary. They can make others understand them easily by having a large vocabulary in their arsenal.
Having excellent vocabulary means they are able to adapt their style of speech according to their audience.
For instance, they can speak plainly to someone who has little to no idea about what you are talking about.
On the other hand, they can be more specific and use technical terminologies for the people who already have enough knowledge of the field.
Learning new vocabulary is necessary for improving your communication skills.
However, effective communicators also use clear and concise speech to explain their point of view.
After all, why should you use two sentences when you can narrate something clearly in a single sentence?
People will start wandering within a minute if you just beat about the bush and say noting valuable about the actual subject.
Most people have a very short attention span and therefore, you must not waste your valuable words and should always stick to the point.
No one likes to listen to others, especially in boring meetings and presentations.
People would rather daydream than paying attention to you.
Amazing communicators always come out of this situation with flying colors and so can you.
You should be concise, clear and efficient while expressing your ideas to minimize this effect, just like some of the best communicators in the world.
Being succinct and clear during a conversation is definitely not easy.
It takes a lot of practice, self-awareness, and personal analysis to be more succinct.
This is what great communicators take care of, setting themselves apart from ordinary ones.
You can employ many techniques to be more concise during your speech.
One of the most popular and best of these techniques is to “think before you speak.”
You need to analyze all of your key points beforehand and decide what you want to talk about and what the points you will have to exclude from your speech are.
This technique is particularly effective in case of an anecdote or a story. Implement this technique and people will start paying attention to you all of a sudden.
Another method is to collect your thoughts in advance.
Prepare everything that can help and guide you during your speech or conversation.
These things may include notes, bullet points, PowerPoint presentations and so on. It is pertinent to mention that this technique is especially effective for formal speeches.
THEY DON’T USE WORDS LIKE “BUT” AND “IF”
Words like “if” and “but” are your greatest enemy when it comes to having a good conversation with others.
Have you ever noticed how people lose interest as soon as someone uses these conversation killers?
Take the following sentence for an example.
“This is an amazing idea, but there are many ways of doing it.”
This sentence is actually divided into two parts, the one about the amazing idea and the other about the ways of implementing the idea.
However, people will not pay attention to the latter part of the sentence the moment you utter the word “but.”
This is because you have effectively nullified the entire part of the sentence which follows the word but.
The better approach, in this case, would be:
“I love this idea and I think we just need to slightly change our approach.”
Using “and” instead of “but” can make a world of difference to the meaning of the sentence.
Most importantly, it keeps your listeners engaged and waiting for your next idea.
Great or effective communicators would never use ifs and buts in their conversation. It is actually one of the most important Rules of Improve.
You can study more about the rules of improving in Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants.
According to Tina Fey, using words like “yes” and “and” are simply gold if you are looking to improve your communication skills.
These words usually send positive vibes and messages to your partner or listeners.
One such message is that you respect them and value their ideas, even if you do not totally agree with them.
Similarly, words like “Definitely” and “Certainly” help you keep your mind open about the subject under discussion.
They invite you to contribute even more to the discussion and expand on your own ideas as well as ideas of others. They are applicable to any situation, whether it is your argument with your wife over the next venue for dinner or with your boss over the next salary increment.
Expanding this point even further, amazing communicators are always respectful to others. They have a brilliant command of manners which enables them to have smooth conversations with people of any background or culture.
They, in fact, try to learn more about the culture of the person or people they frequently communicate with so they may not hurt their sentiments by behaving in a way or using words which are considered a taboo in their culture.
Having great manners will also make you look like someone who is considerate and deferential to others regardless of their background.
THEY USE THEIR BODY LANGUAGE
Great communicators know how to use body language to communicate even more effectively. They also know that a human body can communicate quite well on its own.
They continuously develop different types of gestures and signs to communicate various types of messages and ideas through their body.
For example, a good communicator would never cross his arms while talking to anyone.
This particular gesture will present you as someone who is closed-minded and resistant to new ideas.
Some people subtly copy the habits of the person they are talking to.
This is a brilliant technique as it allows them to develop some rapport and put their partner at ease.
Remember that what you say is not as important as how you say it.
In fact, your body language and physiology can convey your messages much more conveniently than your words.
Think of a time when someone says he is perfectly fine, but you can actually guess it is the totally the opposite from his facial expressions.
In this case, you clearly know nothing is right, even if the words of your friend state otherwise.
This is the power of body language which great communicators incorporate in their communication and you should definitely follow suit.
Apart from a couple of techniques explained above, there are many other ways you can acquire immeasurable communication power through your body language.
First and foremost, you should try your level best to develop some affinity with your audience if you want to dramatically reduce the chances of miscommunication.
Secondly, it is imperative for you to maintain eye contact with others while talking as well as listening. It will enable both of you to feel relaxed and heard.
You can also maximize the advantage of communication by removing any obstacle between you and your listener.
Decreasing the distance between you two, especially in the workplace, and talking face to face is a wonderful method of developing a sense of respect and connection and thus, improving communication.
Maintaining a relaxed but upright and confident posture can also pay rich dividends.
You can show more interest in the conversation by leaning forward on the table if you are sitting in a chair.
On the other hand, you will exhibit a sense of indifference, if you lean back during the conversation.
As mentioned above, facial expressions are of utmost importance when you have to communicate with someone.
You can practice different expressions and postures by standing in front of the mirror as you are talking to someone else.
This technique will help you improve work-related, social scenario exchanges and relationship-based expressions among others.
You may be a great communicator by birth.
However, most people learn and practice hard to obtain the necessary communication skills.
You can enhance your effectiveness by practicing any or all of these techniques at least once a week or month.
You will display a new level of energy, confidence, and satisfaction which you have never experienced before.
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