5 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills
Strong communication skills are useful both in and out of the workplace. According to a survey from Deloitte, communication skills are the most critical skill for leaders to possess. But how do you improve your communication skills? Here are five ways to improve your communication skills.
1. Improve your listening
Communication is a two-way street. Strong communicators do not simply focus on the presentation and delivery of what they want to communicate to others. Instead strong communicators also make a point of focusing on listening well. Being a good listener is paramount to effective communication.
When you are listening, be sure to give your full attention to the speaker. This means turning away from any distractions, whether they are screens, books, or work projects, and focusing your attention on the speaker. Another way to give your full attention while listening is to make eye contact with the speaker.
2. Develop your understanding of non-verbal communication
Studies have shown that 65% of all communication is non-verbal. This means that while you are speaking it can be helpful to watch for visual signs that your listener understands what you are communicating. It is also important to understand that while you are speaking, you are sending non-verbal signals as well.
3. Solicit feedback
There are two ways to solicit feedback with your communication skills. The first is to ask trusted people who you regularly communicate with to ask them for feedback on your communication skills. Be sure to solicit feedback on both speaking and listening.
It can also be valuable to record your presentations so that you can conduct a self-evaluation and determine areas for growth. Watching your own presentations can also be a way to examine your non-verbal signals as well as the verbal presentation.
4. Improve written communication
While many people only think of speaking and listening as essential communication skills, written communication should not be overlooked. Take time to research and learn ways to improve your written communication. Consider looking into ways to improve your grammar and spelling, the formatting of your communication, and your writing style. One way to improve written communication is by reading often so you can learn from others.
5. Understand your audience
Whether you are speaking to an audience of one or an audience of one million, it is crucial to understand your audience so you can effectively communicate. Taking time to understand their needs and wants allows you to communicate in a way that meets their needs.