Communicate Your Way to Success
There’s not a lot of skills out there that adapt to every single aspect of our lives. Sure you may be a pro at calculating company finances at work, but is that really going to help you during uncomfortable dinner conversations with the in-laws? And while you may be a great bowler, it might not go too well when your boss catches you using a bowling ball to try and knock over the coworkers you’re not too fond of. There’s many great skills to have, but one of the most fundamental, transferable skills we can have in our toolbox is effective communication.
As humans, the ability to communicate is part of our nature. Whether it is speaking, writing or using nonverbal language, we have always been able to communicate. Yet, there’s a huge difference in being able to communicate and being able to effectively communicate. Effective communicators are highly sought after in the workplace since good communication skills are one of the top things employers look for.
So what separates a communicator from an effective communicator? There are many factors, but let’s take a look at a few that really make a difference.
Skills of an effective communicator:
- Good listener
Communicating isn’t just about getting your ideas out there, it’s about listening and understanding what others are saying. In order to effectively communicate one must understand the situation by listening.
- Nonverbal language
Your body language says a whole lot. Posture, eye-contact, gestures, and facial expressions are all their own forms of communication. While you may be interested in a conversation; if you’re slouched back, avoiding eye contact and frowning, you’re going to come across as uninterested and rude.
- Clear and concise
People start to lose interest if someone is speaking for too long so it’s important to be clear and concise in your communication. You don’t want to lose the attention of your audience.
Talking to someone who is friendly and outgoing is a lot different than talking with someone who’s rude and uncomfortable. Smiling, showing concern/empathy for your audience, and personalizing your messages are all ways to come across as a friendly person who people will want to talk to.
People are more likely to believe and trust someone who appears confident in their speaking. So while you may be nervous during a big presentation, you just got to fake it ‘til you make it! If you appear to be confident, people will assume you know what you’re talking about.
If you are interested in learning more about how to become a skilled communicator, the Division of Continuing Education at the University of Central Florida offers an online course titled Keys to Effective Communication. This six-week long course will help students learn to properly use communication in order to enhance their many aspects of their lives personally and professionally.
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