I’m a firm believer 99% of all problems in business today could be solved by better communication. Either we fail to communicate or we miscommunicate with each other, our customers and vendors.
Many times it carries over into our personal lives, too. Whether it’s the rise of social media, email, text or just general bad form—we’ve gotten to be very poor communicators. Here are a few times on how to improve your communication skills.
Everyone can be a better listener. The age old sales training talks about not thinking about what you’re going to say next and truly focusing on what your customer or prospect is saying. But, it goes deeper than words. Listen with your eyes; what is their body language telling you. Listen intently—focus; be present in the moment and strive to soak it in and understand.
Repeat What You Heard
One of the greatest techniques you can learn is to repeat back what you heard the other person say. Do so with, “So, what I’m hearing you say is…”. This will ensure you are receiving the same message they are trying to deliver. Many times we don’t convey our wishes properly. This is a good way to make sure what you hear is what they meant.
Follow Up In Writing
If you’re asked to do something or you ask someone to do something, follow up with the the other party in writing confirming what you have been asked to do or what you asked them to do. Over communication is not generally a problem and this is a good again to make sure every one is on the same page.
Another byproduct of the information age is the speed with which we do everything and talking is no different. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve asked someone to “just slow down and start over”. I don’t mean you have to talk to them like they were a four-year old but be conscious of the speed with which you talk. It will allow the other party to process the information a lot more accurately.
Ask Them To Repeat What They Heard
Just as mentioned above, before parting ways—ask the other person to confirm what they heard. “Just so we’re on the same page and I communicated correctly, what did you take from that?” is a very simple way to ask and confirm. Again, what you say and what they hear can be two totally different things. The more you can confirm everyone is together during the conversation the better your communication will be.
There you have it, five ways how you can improve your communication skills.
Now, just so we’re on the same page, what did you take away from this blog?