The 21st century seems one poised to be the communication century, where the old ways fall by the way side, as true communication goes further and further toward building bridges between people, and greases the skids in the business world between coworkers, clients and managers in ways that would seem impossible even a generation ago. Don’t be left behind. Here are 10 effective ways to build your interpersonal communication skills and stay ahead of the game.
Conduct the Difficult Conversation
Shying away from necessary conflict for the sake of avoiding confrontation is a big hindrance to forging meaningful communication. Through practice you will learn the best ways to conduct the difficult conversations that need to be done.
Brevity is Better
A good and proper economy of phrasing goes a long way toward earning good will from those you wish to communicate with.
Get to the points you wish to make quickly, do not waste others’ time and mental energy on pointless “filler” conversation, and people will appreciate you.
Make Your Feedback Count
Often, the most important communication skill is learning to make the most of the small windows offered for you to give constructive feedback on something. Make the most of these opportunities.
Receive Feedback Gracefully
Likewise, a crucial skill to effective interpersonal communication is learning how to take criticism and feedback in stride, and to never take it personally. Feedback is a great way to learn what you need to focus on to perform better. Cherish the opportunity.
Mind Your Hygiene
One of the first things people notice about you is your hygiene habits.
Bathe regularly, keep a neat and tidy appearance, and mind all aspects of your personal grooming habits. It makes no sense to allow something so easy to control to derail your attempts at communication.
Dress for Success
Also, dress properly for every occasion. There is no excuse to ever be “under dressed” as it will only allow other the excuse to not take you seriously.
Learn to Self-Assess
An honest self-critique can be the most useful ability in building interpersonal communication skills that you have at your disposal. Learn how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.
Listen With Your Eyes
Look for the numerous non-verbal cues that will clue you in to what the other person is trying to convey to you in conversation. Pick up on the eye contact, the posture and the body language to hear the hidden conversation at play in every interaction.
Do Your Prep Work
Always be prepared for any conversation, but never fear not having a particular fact handy. It is much better to admit ignorance than to make something up.
Silence Can Sometimes Be Golden
Learning when not to speak in a conversation can be a incredibly useful skill that allows the other person room to say what they need to. Challenge yourself to be silent the next time you feel urged to argue and you’ll instantly build more effective communication skills.
While people may decide 10 things about you within 10 seconds of seeing you, it takes only 1-3 seconds to speak volumes through your handshake. Having a firm handshake is essential in the business world. It’s a key ingredient in creating a good first impression.
President and Michelle Obama slipped up when they gave the Queen of England the “sandwich” handshake. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to appear on Fox TV in Chicago to discuss it!
You always shake with your right hand unless you have a disability. If that is the case, immediately offer your left hand so people know to shake it. If arthritis or carpel tunnel syndrome makes it painful for you to have your hand shaken, say so to keep others from unknowingly hurting you and making them feel ill at ease when you wince.
I’ll discuss six handshakes that every good communicator needs to know. Even if you don’t use them, you need to be aware of what messages others are sending so you can file the information to use during the interaction.
Connect with the other person web-to-web. (The web is the area between your thumb and index finger.) Hold the person’s hand firmly. Shake three times maximum, no higher than three or four inches. Maintain constant eye contact.
As soon as your hands are linked, you purposely maneuver your hand onto the top. There’s no doubt you want to be in charge! Astute communicators note the message and adjust according to the circumstances, i.e. are you the manager or the employee, the vendor or the purchaser?
You envelope another person’s hand such that s/he feels like the filling in a sandwich. This gesture shows more intimacy and is not recommended the first time you meet someone. You are invading the private zone in her/his space bubble by enclosing her/his hand. You can use this handshake to show sincerity and concern after you know someone will appreciate it.
This is the most awkward handshake for the other person. You extend only your fingertips, and s/he is not sure how to grasp them or how hard to shake. Occasionally, it happens by accident when two people aim poorly. More often, it signals lack of confidence or self-esteem and is a poor way to start off a business relationship. One solution that lessens the negative impression is to extend your hand its full length even if your handshake is weak so that the other person can grasp the entire hand rather than just fingertips.
This is the slippery, damp hand you extend … and others can’t wait to get it over with. If you are nervous and perspire, carry a handkerchief or wipe your hand on your clothes. What you spend in cleaning bills will be paid for quickly in a better impression. You may unwittingly offer this handshake when you hold a cold beverage in your right hand and then switch it to your left to shake hands. The condensation is bound to remain on your right hand. Suggestions: Hold beverages in your left hand, set them on a table after you have taken a drink or don’t indulge.
Given accidentally (and sometimes on purpose), this one is practiced mostly by men. It can be painful when given by someone with a big hand and strong grip to someone with a smaller, more delicate hand. The hurt is enhanced if the person wears a ring on the right hand and the stone happens to be askew. If I know the person well, I’ll smile and say, “Hey, I need to use this hand again.” If I don’t know her/him, I’ll remove my hand as quickly as is feasible. If any firm handshake can make you wince because you have arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, etc. do not extend your hand. If you think further explanation is needed then add that it can be painful for you to shake hands and, therefore, you don’t. There is no ideal way to counter the bone crusher. My comfort is that with the myriad hands I shake, I am rarely “accosted” by it.
Article Author: Lillian Bjorseth
Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_923124_64.html