Some people are born to be great communicators. The rest of us have to work a little harder. No matter if you work in credit unions or cook at the diner on the corner, it’s important to be an effective communicator. If you know you could improve in this area, here are three things to consider…
Be open and honest: You’ll be a lot easier to talk to if you seem approachable. Try some small talk to make the situation comfortable before the real conversation begins. If people feel a connection when they talk to you, they’re more likely to be open and honest with you. Speak in a conversational tone. Use stories in your examples. Connect on a personal level. Don’t be a robot.
Don’t just talk: If you want to be a great communicator, you have to remember that communication is a two-way street. Nobody likes talking to someone who never stops to listen. Pay attention to the body language of the person you’re speaking to and make sure your own body language shows that you’re focused and attentive.
Let go of your opinions: Communication is about more than what you think and what you want to say. It’s okay if you don’t agree with the person you’re talking to, but make sure they know that you understand where they’re coming from. Take a minute to pause and think about the points they make. It’s okay to have a lull in the conversation. This will show them that you’re truly listening and care about their opinion, even if you don’t agree with them. Don’t be afraid to ask a ton of questions if it’ll help you fully understand someone’s point of view.