Whether you’re an entrepreneur, manager, or employee, it’s important to have good communication skills. However, being a good communicator is not always easy. In fact, it’s probably the hardest skill to master. You may have something to say but not necessarily the right thing, which can kill you in business. Here are ways you can help yourself be a better communicator:
1) Be a better listener.
This might sound backwards but its not. The best communicators are also the best listeners. They make sure that they are listening to what other people have to say and observing what they are doing in order to assess the whole situation. You can’t just talk, talk, talk because you’ll simply be talking to yourself. People won’t listen unless you have something relevant to say and the only way to do that is to listen to others.
2) Ask questions.
To be a good communicator, you have to know what questions to ask. Things might not always be what they seem on the surface and so you have to dig deeper to understand what’s going on around you. Then you can say what you want to say, after understanding the whole situation.
3) Don’t beat around the bush.
Get to the point quickly. If you have something to say, try to skip the awkward pauses — such as, like, ummm. Stick to your point without beating around the bush.
4) Give constructive criticism.
If you manage a team, then being a good communicator can make or break how well you lead. A sign of a poor leader is one who can’t work with the people around them. There is nothing more frustrating than having a team leader who can’t lead. In order to be successful at managing people, you need to learn how to give constructive criticism. It’s easily to be borderline demeaning when you’re trying to be critical. Make sure that you’re focusing on how a person can improve, not what they’re doing wrong and how badly they screwed up.
5) Don’t be shy.
If you’re introverted, communicating with others can be one of the most difficult things to do. But don’t let the fear of saying the wrong thing stop you from saying anything. Speak up if you have something to say. Don’t worry about how’ll you come off or what people will think of you. Even if you make a fool of yourself, people will forget about it 10 seconds later.
6) Pay attention.
Often times, when you’re trying to get your thoughts across, you become oblivious to what’s going on around you. Don’t do that. If you’re not paying attention, you can miss out on some very key moments. You don’t want to catch yourself in a situation where you’re repeating someone else or making an argument that was already disproven.
The only way to become a good communicator is to practice. You’ll make mistakes and say the wrong things but mistakes are meant to be made. Effective communication skills are important to have in life and it’ll serve you well in whatever you choose to do.