Transformative tools for a powerful You
The ability to communicate with superiors, colleagues and staff is absolutely essential in business.
What does “I have well developed communications skills” really mean to you when you choose to list it as an attribute on your CV?
Here are three pointers to developing excellent
COMMUNICATION SKILLS. BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR BODY LANGUAGE
Even when we are not saying a word, we are constantly communicating through body language and gestures. ( http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/body-language-and-business-etiquette.html )
An illustrative piece of advice in this regard is:
- Don’t stand with your arms crossed if you want to appear open to a colleague or what they are saying,
- and, make plenty of eye contact with someone when they are talking to you, to show that you are engaged and interested in what that person is saying. That being said, cultural differences in the workplace do have to be taken into account. In some African and Asian cultures too much eye contact with a superior is seen as disrespectful.
Tip: A great way to connect with someone in a subtle way is to consciously mirror their body language. This is a tool we actually use instinctively and it helps with bonding and building rapport.
BE A TRULY ENGAGED LISTENER
Being a good listener is being a good communicator. Listening is so important in the workplace that many top employers provide listening skills training for their employees. Not surprising when you consider that good listening skills can lead to better quality working relationships, greater productivity with fewer mistakes, and an increase in the sharing of the kind of information that results in increased innovation and creative work.
- A good listener remains present and focused, and is not distracted by what is going on around them – or their cell phone
- A good listener uses positive body language to engage with the person who is speaking
- They do not listen expecting to know what is going to be said
- They are not listening just itching for their chance to respond
- They do not interrupt the speaker – but they do ask pertinent questions to get to grips with what the speaker is saying
- Listeners care and they show empathy for what the speaker has to say
ALWAYS GIVE FEEDBACK
Without feedback communication is useless – it is feedback that makes communication meaningful.
- Feedback allows one to ensure that what is being communicated is effective and makes sense
- Feedback completes the process of communication, and it can fuel the process, allowing the continuous flow of open communication moving forwards.
- Feedback is a good basis for planning the next step in any project, or the management of an employee’s performance, or their career progression
- Feedback paves the way for new idea generation