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7 Expert Strategies to Start Communicating More Effectively

March 10, 2018 | Staffing Blog

Effective communication is important in problem-solving, conflict resolution and building personal and business relationships. Improving your communication is the key to influencing others which could involve you being offered a new or be viewed as an effective leader in the workplace. The following are important communication basics that if followed will improve your chances for success:

1. Use “I” statements.

Begin sentences with “I need,” “I want,” or “I feel.” People will understand you more clearly if you take ownership of your directives.

2. Be Specific and Complete.

Make sure you carefully outline your expectations. Describe exactly how a task must be completed (unless you’re encouraging the individual to finish the job creatively). When appropriate, write down your expectations. If you’re not clear, you can’t expect others to anticipate what you want.

3. Don’t Mix Verbal and Nonverbal Messages.

Body language is a major part of communicating. If you are happy but have a cross look on your face, no one will know exactly what message you are trying to convey.

4. Be Redundant

If someone does not understand your message, think of new ways to present the information. Remember that people can learn by seeing, by hearing, and by doing. You can reach your audience faster if you use the words they mentally tune into most comfortably. For example, those who learn by seeing respond to, “What does the ideal job look like to you?” Those who learn by hearing understand statements such as, “What does it sound like in your ideal office?” Those who learn by doing respond to, “What does your ideal job feel like?”

5. Ask for Feedback.

Check to ensure that all communication you send is understood. If it’s written material, ask the recipient to respond. If you are speaking, ask the listener to repeat your message. A simple, “tell me in your own words what you think I said,” allows you to find out immediately if the message was received correctly.

6. Present Single Ideas.

One idea is easier to grasp then several ideas presented at once. State a series of thoughts on one topic in a logical sequence that is easy to understand and follow. After explaining each element, confirm that the listener understands you before moving on to the next thought.

7. Avoid Judgment.

To keep the lines of communication open, give feedback without judgment. People won’t provide information if they believe their message will be judged unfairly. Attentive listening is critical and if you’re unclear about a statement or a circumstance, always ask for clarification. It’s important to avoid formulating conclusions until you have all the facts.

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