We all admire people with great communication skills, who can converse with confidence, answer smartly in tricky situations, know how to respond to criticism or appreciation appropriately. They have an innate ability to involve audience completely in the conversation and know how to convey their point without any barriers. They are not only good in talking but are attentive listeners as well. We all respect and trust them because of their skills to build relationships quickly and easily be it on a personal or professional level. They are considered as the go-to source and always get recognition while working in any organization. But honestly, these great communication skills are not developed overnight, they require planning and consistent practice.
Do you think that you lack this trait and want to discover the secret to become competent in communication to have a successful academic and professional career? If yes, then below are the qualities of an excellent communicator that you should adopt in your life:
Communication is not only about the mouthful of words but what your body is saying is equally important. Good communicators are familiar with this fact, and that is why they make sure that their body language compliments their words. Be it making eye contact, fiddling with fingers and any other object, smiling, arms crossing, relaxing or slouching, they know what is needed to get noticed by the audience. Especially in face-to-face meetings and video conferencing. It shows their confidence and involvement in the discussion.
Great communicators know the significance of listening and always give preference to it over speaking. This helps them to extract maximum knowledge and opinions of their colleagues. Instead of dominating the conversation, they frequently ask questions and try to read between the lines. This doesn’t imply that they don’t speak at all, but they know how to balance the two effectively. They just want to assure the other person that he/she is being heard and often ask for clarification if and when needed.
People who are skilled in communication have an insight knowledge and forward thinking ability that make them highly respectable in their subject or field. They know that expertise is a key factor to get attention from listeners and value their time. They are well aware of the fact that no one will respect them if they themselves have no idea what they are talking about. To influence others and to maintain an environment of engagement, subject matter proficiency is one of the main elements.
There is always a chance of misunderstanding while talking to others and good communicators know this very well. They look for patterns and inconsistencies to detect any chances of miscommunication such as message, the tone of voice, matching words, body language, etc. They combine these factors to observe the true feelings and intentions of others. Also, they don’t prepare the answers when a person is speaking, they intensely focus on understanding what is being said so as to avoid any arguments and assumptions instead.
It is important to build a relationship with the person you are talking to, and its effects are incalculable. Excellent communicators care about the receiver of the message and choose to start a conversation with ‘good morning’ or ‘how’s your day going?’
No matter how busy their schedule is, they always make time to have a healthy discussion with others and give importance to their opinions and views. If you jump directly to business or formal talks, there will be a gap between you and other people involved in the conversation, and people with good communication skills know this. Successful interaction is not the only benefit of building a relationship, but it also creates goodwill that has an accumulative effect.
What people say is not the most important part of the communication, but listening to what has not been spoken is much significant too. Voice tone, facial expression, body gestures, and language speak louder than words and convey a clear message in the communication exchange. Skilled communicators listen with both their eyes & ears and pay attention to eye contact or hand movements to get the powerful message. They understand that they can lose the amount of information if they are distracted and avoid electronic method to converse with others, such as email, phone, text message, etc.
Any communication process is incomplete without proper feedback. It ensures the sender that you have received the message and understood it perfectly. Failing to respond increases the chances of misunderstanding and leaves the interaction halfway. Great communicators are familiar with this aspect and always provide their feedback as soon as the information is received and perceived. Even if they are angry or emotional about any critical subject that has been said, they wait for a few hours to calm themselves and process the message. They don’t reply immediately and take a pause to think about it patiently.
Communication skills are not something you are born with or inherit, they’re developed over time and polished by regular practice. You too can follow the tips of great communicators to become as good as them.
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