9 keys to optimizing your communication skills

Communication Skills

Effective communication is one of the most important skills that can be developed in life. Each of us reaches a different level of skill in this: one is unable to reach an agreement with his relatives and decide who is going to take out the garbage, and another, in the middle of the street, can even sell an elephant to a stranger.

Everything can be learned, and the ability to communicate with others is no exception. Where to start? Observe yourself when you communicate with people and apply the methods that we will tell you later. Of course, there are more than nine, but even with these, the result will be very good. In this article, we will focus on the key principles.

1. Pay special attention to body language

However, when it comes to acting, we pay more attention to what we speak than to what we say with our bodies. And it can often say much more than words.

You tell your interlocutor that you are open to dialogue, but you don’t even look in their direction. You assure him that you are interested in him, but every now and then you check your phone and become impatient. Non-verbal cues reveal more than you think.

Be aware that you are communicating with a person, even if you don’t say a word at the time. It is difficult to maintain control of the whole body, so start with the hands. When you speak, make sure your hands and fingers convey and complete the meaning of the message, rather than leaving them suspended. Also learn to read the body language of your interlocutor: it will be much easier to capture their mood.

2. Imagine the scenario

Suppose that most of the time you are perplexed by the question: “What do you do?” It’s disconcerting, and you start to stutter and make an incoherent speech peppered with ridiculous jokes. It is time to end the discomfort. Take some time to reflect and write down the answers to the questions that are especially difficult for you. You can write different versions of your text, depending on who you are talking to.

3. Tell a story

Stories have a special power. They activate the brain of the interlocutor, make presentations attractive, allow us to be persuasive and even help in job interviews.

Many of us have at least one good story to tell. In addition, if it is fed with metaphors, colorful expressions, a culmination, the interlocutor will listen to us with double interest.

4. Ask questions

Some people refuse to ask questions for fear of appearing annoying or ridiculous. In fact, it is a powerful tool to get them interested and to show them that you are interested.

Repeat the last words questioningly again to encourage him to tell you more. To sociable people, most of the time they know how to ask questions and listen carefully.

5. Avoid distractions

Staying distracted on the phone during a conversation is a great way to spoil your relationship with others.

But it’s not just the phone that is distracting – it can be anything that gets in the way of the conversation. For example, an obstacle, noise, or an uncomfortable environment.

6. Connect your message with your recipient

Indeed, there is nothing more boring than the endless narration of an interlocutor who has nothing to do with the assistants.

Great speakers always tell stories related to their interlocutors. They make it clear that it is a dialogue, not a monologue. If necessary, they interrupt the story and listen to those who participate.

7. Be specific and concise (SHORT)

The acronym BRIEF stands for:

  • Background
  • Reason
  • Information
  • Finalize
  • Follow-up

This principle was designed for writing emails, but it works for real life.

8. Use empathy

The conversation is a two-way street. The vast majority of people are not interested in what the interlocutor has to say, and that is why so few are successful in communication. When you are interested in the other person’s point of view, you have already been successful in communication in many ways.

The development of empathy allows you to perceive when the interlocutor is tired and wants to take a break, when it is better to be silent and when to make a joke. There is no precise recipe: you just have to show empathy, listen and observe. In this way, you can react appropriately to the words, pauses and body language of your interlocutor.

9. Really listen

Regardless of the order number, this is the most important principle to follow. If there’s one tip on how to be a good conversationalist, this is it. We are so self-absorbed that we are completely oblivious to what a person says. In almost all dialogues, the self is our main enemy. It is hard work that requires patience, but it is the ability to listen that makes people say of a person: “He is the best conversationalist I have ever met!”

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