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. It greases the skids in the business world between co-workers, 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Mind Your Hygiene
One of the first things people notice about you is your hygiene habits. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.