Five useful tips to help improve your communication skills
We all communicate, all of the time. We're communicating right now, in fact.
And not just us, if you're sitting in a room with other people while reading this, then you're communicating with them too, albeit quite poorly.
Being a naturally good talker and a good listener are both incredible qualities to possess, as anyone who considers themselves bad at either or both can attest to.
Speaking to Uproxx, communications expert Carol Fleming says that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to becoming a great communicator, but there are five tips to help get you there.
Empathy: If you want to feel like you're getting heard, then you better be listening yourself. If you sit and listen - really listen - to someone else, then they are far more likely to return the favour.
Small Talk: This can sometimes be a bit of a mind-melter, but as Fleming puts it, it is more "about relationship, not content." So yes, you can literally talk about the weather in order to make each other feel more comfortable before moving on to the proper Deep and Meaningfuls.
First Impressions: Opinion is out on this way, but subconsciously we are judging people all of the time, with the biggest opinion being made - yep - in that first meeting. Even before we open our mouths, we're being judged on how we enter a room, how we stand, where we place ourselves with groups of people. So making a good first impression is easier than making a bad one, and then having the uphill struggle of having to change it.
No Electronics: Mobile phones have made communication easier, but also far less personal. We all already knew that, but when it comes to having a proper conversation with a friend or loved one (or even a stranger, for that matter), it's simple. Put. The. Phones. Away.
Assume The Best: This is probably the hardest one to conquer, but also the most rewarding. Fleming says that if you assume the best about the person that you're talking to - that they aren't lying or exaggerating what they're saying, or that they aren't anything less than a good person - then that feeling is usually reciprocated, which leads to great communication!
So there you have it. A lot of these seem pretty obvious, but it can be amazing how quickly we can forget obvious stuff when faced with the simple task of "having a conversation".
So if you want to be a better talker and a better listener, you just need to be a little better at being actively aware of what you're doing when the conversation is taking place.
Your friends / family / partner / boss will be thankful!