Effective communication is crucial for everything you do in life.
You can’t have good relationships, a successful career, or good experiences if you have poor communication skills.
Therefore, mastering proper communication skills is something you should take the time to figure out.
Here are four ways you can improve your communication skills:
Develop Listening Skills
The first step to communication is listening.
Proper listening takes skill and determination.
Listening is taking the time to concentrate on what the other person is saying as well as paying attention to their body language.
Most people tend to focus on offering information and ignoring the response.
This is usually because they are too busy thinking about what they want to say next instead of focusing on what the other is saying with the hope of understanding.
To listen appropriately, stop worrying about what you want to say, and truly focus on their words and body language.
Proper listening skills require clarification and reflection on what the speaker is saying, so they are aware you understand them.
Proper listening is not directing the message away or leading into a new conversation, it allows the other to continue to speak and feel understood.
Understand Body Language and Non-verbal Communication
Communication requires more than just spoken words.
It is also what the person isn’t saying.
Non-verbal communication is more than just body language, it also includes the tone of their voice, how they make eye contact, facial expressions, and physical changes such as shakiness or sweating.
Studies suggest that communication is 80% non-verbal and 20% verbal.
Understand Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
Fully understanding their perspective and emotions while sympathizing with them is empathy.
A lot of empathy is natural; however, it can be strengthened by fully understanding yourself and being more aware of others.
Paying attention and asking questions will help you develop more empathy.
Emotional intelligence requires an understanding of empathy while also being fully aware of your own emotions and being able to control them.
It includes self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-confidence to control emotions to work better with others.
Practice is the only way to help yourself become more empathetic.
Don’t avoid social interactions just because you may offend someone or feel uncomfortable here and there.
Avoiding it will only make your communication skills worse.
You need to act on an issue, to fix something.
Attending weekly book clubs or joining an art class are a few examples of activities to help you practice.
Mastering your communication skills will take time and determination but will be worth it when your relationships, happiness, and career prosper.