Knowing how to communicate is an essential life skill. Take your career as a case in point.If you are being interviewed for a job and there is another candidate who is more or less your equal when it comes to skills and knowledge, one of the factors that will surely give you an edge is how you handled yourself during the interview. Sometimes, even if you are not 100% qualified, once the interviewer is satisfied with the way that you answered the questions, you will most likely be accepted for the job.
However, not everyone is blessed with good communication skills. Some people just naturally get their point across more effectively than others. This is the reason why you need to take steps and exert some extra effort in learning how to communicate effectively, so that you would know how to handle yourself in a personal and professional environment. Take a look at the following tips on how to communicate effectively:
1. Do not just hear, learn how to listen.
Communication is a two-way street. If a person says something to you, you are expected to give a response in kind. It may sound elementary, but often times, people forget how to listen – instead, they just choose to hear the message instead of delving deep into what
is actually being said. If the meaning of the message is distorted due to a misunderstanding on your part, it will result to miscommunication. The rule of thumb is, listen first to what is being said, then formulate your response from there.
If you merely hear the words being uttered while you are actually thinking about what you are going to say next, then you are not being a participant to an effective two-way communication process. Finally, once you realize that you are actually getting what the
other person is saying, a corresponding response will automatically come out of your mouth.
2. Be observant while you are being observed in turn.
If, for example, you are in a situation where you need to speak in front of a few friends or before large audience and you find that you are suddenly the center of attention – and people are eagerly awaiting your response – do not panic! Understand that public
speaking is one of the most common fears of a lot of people, so you are not alone in this dilemma.
Fear cannot be conquered if you do not force yourself to face it, and the sooner you start, the better. Take a deep breath and start looking at the people around you. Are they straining to hear your voice? If they are, increase the volume of your voice a little. Do they appear restless or uninterested? Try varying your pitch, inject humor into what you are saying to get their attention back, or ask questions to get them more involved. You, in turn should learn how to gauge their reaction. With an attentive audience and an observant speaker, the communication between both ends should flow easier.
3. Choose your words carefully to clearly get your message across.
The purpose of communication is simply this: to send a message and make sure that it is clear and understood by the receiver. Whether you are engaged in a one-on-one conversation or if you are speaking before a group of people, you need to choose your words carefully so that your message will be understood. If you find a certain point particularly difficult to describe, use a common scenario by which you can compare the idea that you are trying to impart. If questions arise during the course of the discussion, answer them straightforwardly.
By following these tips on how to communicate effectively, you will certainly overcome any fear of speaking that you might harbor deep inside. Also, your goals – whether it is simply a matter of expressing an opinion, asking someone to do something, or persuading an audience into your line of thinking – they will be realized once you learn how to succinctly get your message across.