Could you be more effective working with others if you could communicate more effectively?
OK, that was a rhetorical question if there ever was one. But it is an important one. In my 40+ years working with others in various organizations and situations it I’ve found that effective communication is the most vital skill we need. For various reasons we fail at communicating effectively and the results range from irritation to failure. It seems we never truly master this art and we all need to work on it constantly.
Success.com posted an article on May 1, 2017 listing six communication skills that will make you a better leader. They also make you a better team player whether you lead or not. Here are the six skills in brief:
- Know yourself: be self-aware and be clear about what you wish to achieve in your communication.
- Know your audience: you need to understand the feelings, beliefs and needs of those you communicate with to do so effectively.
- Be direct, specific and clear: this may be the most important skill; too often we obfuscate and confuse because we lack clarity.
- Pay attention to non-verbal communication: non-verbal communication often tells us more about what others are thinking and feeling than what people say.
- Listen before you speak: this conveys respect for others and makes others more receptive to your message.
- Be positive and respectful: this is a key skill to be effective and to gain the attention and engagement of others.
Of course, listing these skills and being aware of them is easy. Putting them into consistent practice is challenging for all of us. They require some hard work on our part to hone these skills and to intentionally apply them. It is very easy to overlook these skills in a busy day with multiple pressures and distractions and too little time to accomplish what we want to and what we need to.
However the pay-off is big if we can make it a habit to do these things consistently.
What do you think? What has been your frustrations with communication?
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.