If you look at a majority of job descriptions, regardless of the industry, one particular proficiency that shows up quite often is “strong communication skills”. A possible reason for this could be the importance that companies place on trust.
Trust is a fuel that drives the corporate machine – various deals and transactions come about just because of the confidence that associates have with each other. This confidence is a direct result of great interpersonal relationships, which in turn is brought about by having immaculate communication skills.
For this reason, companies look out for potential candidates who have both hard and soft skills – which include listening and speaking abilities.
With that said, how exceptional are your conversational skills? Are you great at listening attentively to others and clearly communicating your thoughts? If your answers to both questions are no, here are some tips worth considering:
1) Organise your thoughts
Disorganised thinking is usually a contributing factor in obscure messaging; we typically have an idea that hasn’t been fully fleshed out. In some other instances, we have so much to say, and rather than taking our time to organise them, we blurt everything out. The result: we’re poorly prepared when we speak and end up confusing our listeners.
The general rule of thumb for speaking well is to think deeply and organise your thoughts before you utter a single word.
2) Say exactly what you mean
Great communicators are not ambiguous when they speak. They use their words to convey an idea or message adequately.
3) Don’t beat around the bush
Another characteristic of people who have strong speaking skills is that they are straight shooters – they get right to the point without hesitation. Not only does this show that you are decisive and straightforward, but it also makes you seem trustworthy.
4) Don’t be verbose
Brevity they say is the soul of wit – this also rings true in effective communication. Be economical with your words. Conciseness is effective because the number of words you use directly contributes towards the confusion of your target audience.
5) Be you
When speaking, make sure that your personality shines through because it adds to further clarity. A natural style of communicating makes you comfortable and convincing to your listeners.
Talking is only one-half of the effective communication process. Great communicators are also excellent listeners; they have the capacity to receive messages as well as send them. Here are some other tips for listening well.
1) Show interest
Exceptional listeners show genuine curiosity when engaging with others. They thoughtfully show interest in what the other person is saying, as a way to be courteous and retain what is being said.
2) Listen with your ears and eyes
Listening with just your ears isn’t effective – you tend to miss out on a lot of what was said. By listening with both your ears and eyes, it makes the exchange much richer; you’re able to pick up on the numerous non-verbal signs (which also carry meaningful messages).