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How to Develop Your Communication Skills

Developing your communication skill is an important task. You have to know how to relay your thoughts and feelings in a positive manner to reduce the likelihood of miscommunications and to get your point across. It’s also important to learn how to be a part of the conversation with other people in a responsible way. These tips will put you on the path toward effective communication skills that will make you a more formidable person to talk with in your workplace, school, or other venues.

Why You Need to Develop Communication Skills

Why do you need to have effective communication skills? Every aspect of your life is affected by these skills. The jobs that you get will require you to demonstrate that you can take orders or give them. In school, you need to demonstrate your learning by talking about a subject. Effectively communicating is not limited to the ways that you talk, though. You have to think about the ways that you listen, as well. It’s a matter of having mutual respect for people, keenly listening and not just hearing, and understanding what people are trying to communicate to you.

Learn to Listen

There is a massive difference between listening and hearing, and a lot of people don’t know. Listening is when you are engaged in communication, absorbing the words, and integrating them into your thoughts. Listening to someone properly requires that you give them your undivided attention, don’t anticipate what they’re going to say, try to picture what the person is saying, and not interrupting their turn to speak.


Body language matters

Body language is a massive part of communication. A famous professor once mused that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone, and 7% content of the speech. If you are on stage and you’re speaking softly, and without confidence, people are not likely to take what you say to heart. If you’re in the seats listening to someone with your head down, it shows that you are not interested. Keep in mind these aspects of body language when you’re communicating and learn the other signs of proper body language.

Think before you speak

A lot of people believe that they are in some kind of unspoken race to get words out of their mouths when talking to someone. Many times, this rush to speech will manifest as people stumbling over their words or saying something that does not represent a complete thought. As such, you should take a moment or two to collect your thoughts and then present them. You will appear more concise and effective with your speech compared to people who blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

Be brief, yet specific

Building on the concept of thinking before you speak, it’s best to sum up what you have to say in as few words as possible. Being wordy, while making the speaker sound smart, requires that the listener hear and interpret every word that they say. If they are too busy processing nonsense words, they will not understand the main point of your speech. Be very specific with your words, too. Don’t substitute a word out when the correct one is available. That way, your communications result in fewer misunderstandings.

Make sure you are understood

You have to make sure that your partner understands what you’re trying to say. It’s not enough for you to ask, “Do you understand?” While that might be direct, it doesn’t ask anything to check their understanding, so it is a waste of time. Instead, it’s best to ask them more directly with a method like: “So that I can make sure I communicated clearly, would you please tell me what you heard me say?” That way, you can determine if the person was paying attention to what you said and see how the words you said impacted them. If you were clear, they should be able to relate the same ideas you had in mind back to you. If they’re not capable of explaining your idea, then you might need to talk through the topic again.

Maintain eye contact

Maintaining eye contact with the person that you’re talking with has several benefits. First and foremost, maintaining eye contact shows respect and that you consider the person you’re speaking with in equal standing. Another thing about eye contact is that it portrays honesty. You don’t want to look away from someone when you’re talking because it will make it seem as though you’re dishonest with them. Finally, maintaining eye contact makes it easy to focus on the conversation that you’re having. Instead of looking around, you are engaged in what the person is saying. It can take practice to maintain eye contact with someone without feeling uncomfortable, but it’s worth learning how to do it.

Respect your interlocutor

You have to respect the person with whom you’re conversing. There are several ways to demonstrate respect. For example, giving your partner full attention while they speak. A lot of people these days pull out their phones and try to have a conversation. If you’re ever on a date where someone does this, you can be sure that it is a sign of things to come. Split attention is not respectful communication. Moreover, you should both contribute to the conversation, never speak over each other, and do your best to maintain all the aforementioned rules to show respect. It’s the best way to have a productive conversation! Communicating with others can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be difficult when you learn how to do it properly. Using this guide, you’ll have the opportunity to begin to speak with purpose, communicate better, and be met with a sense of respect as you tell people exactly what you mean and hold crowds’ attention.

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