After having worked in both the entrepreneurial and corporate worlds, I’ve realized the value of communication and its direct relationship to being successful. Below, are some tips that I’ve collected over the years that could prove beneficial to you too.
10: It’s all about [2 x 1.008 g (hydrogen) + 1 x 16.00 g (oxygen) = 18.02 g] — Chemistry people!!
Accept the fact that your overall success has much to do with your interpersonal skills. While domain knowledge is certainly important, your ability to get people to communicate with you is a precursor before you can share your view on what you know.
9: More important than reality!!
“Impression” management, if used well, can be a tremendous asset! (Conversely, if used wrong, you’re a dead man walking!) Realize that impressions are formed in seconds and that in order for you to communicate effectively, you need to practice how to position yourself correctly so that people let their guard down and join the conversation.
8: Social Media is shaping the ‘new’ way to communicate
Do you Tweet? Are you posting on my wall? Are we LinkedIn? The next generation of people are using new tools (and new language) to communicate – it’s important to stay in the know and the now!
7: Elevator Pitch
You have 30 seconds – go! Whether it’s your personal vision or some change initiative you’re implementing at work – your ability to communicate the purpose (why), the picture (what), the plan (how), clearly and effectively could be the difference between a YES or a NO!
6: Everyone’s listening so be careful what you say!
Talking about someone in a negative way will only come back to haunt you. If you have a problem with someone, seek them out to discuss it and potentially resolve it. I’m not advocating that you will see eye-to-eye with everyone but a healthy relationship can afford the agreements and disagreements.
5: You don’t know what you don’t know, right?
Feedback is a valuable asset and could help change your paradigm to reflect a new, more open view on someone or something. While not all feedback is great, be receptive, and try to understand the message rather than focusing on the words.
4: Look in the mirror
Myers Briggs (plus many other communication tools) remind us that the best way to “catch the fish” is to bait the hook with something the fish likes. So, next time, rather than trying to make the other person be more like you, try to shift gears to be more like the other person. Just mirror their body language and tone of voice for starters and watch to see the relationship flourish.
3: What is your body saying about you?
Body language accounts for over half of the impression we make on others. It’s not what you intend but how people receive the information you are communicating. I may be relaxing with my folded arms, but it may be viewed as being close-minded; or, I may be leaning back in my chair to get more comfortable but it could be viewed as being disinterested. What is your body saying to others?
2: That’s right – I said it!
Most communication train wrecks occur because we either are not clear ourselves or we don’t seek clarity about what the other person is saying. Instead, we fill in the meaning and make assumptions (ass_u_me) that may or may not be true. By saying something like, “Can you give me an example of what you mean?” will go a long way to improve understanding.
1: Be a better listener!
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason: to listen twice as much as we speak.