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Being an expert at academics is great!
There’s a more important subject that will contribute more to your success as a business owner: COMMUNICATION!
Let’s face it: when you’re good at communicating, there are less misunderstandings and you’re less likely to meet with pushback. It’s just easier.
Unfortunately, communication isn’t a class in high school (it should be). It is definitely worth learning about. Even if you think your skills are on par, you should still be looking for ways to enhance this crucial skill.
Here are some techniques in mind when communicating:
My parenting secret
So many of you probably don’t know this, but I’m a stickler for communication.
When Davina was born, I was determined to make sure she was an effective communicator. I taught her Sign Language before she could even speak.
Am I fluent in ASL? No. I taught her basic signs so she could tell me if she was hungry, wanted more of something, even say please and thank you.
Some meltdowns happen because there is a breakdown in communication. Littles don’t know how to say what they want. I think that’s what stopped the majority of Davina’s meltdowns. She learned how to communicate early. I highly recommend doing this.
The funniest part? People’s reactions when she signed. They loved it!
I’m proud to say we still communicate great. Mini is 15 now and we still have incredible conversations about everything and nothing.
Anyway, that’s my story.
Now on to the tips:
There’s a fine line between too much and too little eye contact.
Too little? You come across as submissive or disinterested.
Too much? You come across as unnecessarily aggressive.
Finding the middle point allows you to be seen as likeable.
A general rule of thumb:
- Maintain eye contact when either of you is speaking.
- Break eye contact when there is silence.
This simple rule will improve your eye contact immensely.
Experiment and see for yourself.
Is maintaining eye contact uncomfortable for you?
Try studying the other person’s eyes.
- What color are they?
- How big are their pupils?
- Imagine you’re an artist and you have to draw the other person’s eyes. You’d look very closely, right?
Surprisingly, this might even reduce any anxiety you might be feeling. WIN!
If you want to be known as a great conversationalist, become a great listener.
There are so few people interested in truly listening to another person that you’ll really stand out!
- Eye contact is important, as mentioned previously.
- Wait until the other person is finished before speaking.
- Avoid interrupting anyone.
- Give your full attention. This is more than just maintaining eye contact.
It’s possible to look someone in the eye and think about something else, but avoid that temptation and keep your attention on the other person.
ask open-Ended Questions
As any parent will tell you: if you ask a “yes or no” question, you will definitely get a “yes or no” answer.
It’s hard to keep a conversation going if you ask short-answer questions.
Ask questions that require a more substantial answer.
Also to note: avoid answering questions with a one-word answer. Explain yourself.
body language awareness
Your body language can make others view you as open and inviting or closed off.
Avoid crossing your arms and legs.
Turn and face people while you’re communicating.
Know your purpose
What is the goal?
Have a goal for every interaction, even if it is just to enjoy yourself.
If you’re negotiating a business deal, the goal is to negotiate the best possible deal for your side.
Let your goal guide you throughout the conversation.
do you understand?
It’s easy to misinterpret what someone is attempting to communicate to you.
Take the time to ensure that you’ve understood the other person correctly.
- Ask questions.
- Ask for clarification if you’re unsure of anything.
- Restate what you believe the other person communicated to you.
are you understood?
It’s just as important to ensure that the other person is clear on what you’re saying.
Ask questions and ensure that you’ve been understood.
Ensure that you’re being clear in your message.
How well do you communicate with others?
Even if you’re a master at communication, you could always be better.
Most people don’t communicate nearly as well as they could.
Enhancing your communication skills is an easy way to give a significant boost to multiple areas of your life.