Communication truly is an art form that requires skill and experience to master. Improving communications, and therefore conversation skills can be a catalyst to finding success in many areas of your life. Just imagine nailing that job interview or impressing your colleagues in the next meeting. Being an effective communicator can bring advantages in more ways than you can imagine.
According to a report by Holmes, businesses whose leaders possess effective communication skills produced a 47 percent higher return to shareholders over a five-year period. With staggering statistics like this, we should all be focusing some of our time towards improving our skills.
But what does effective communication mean and what barriers are standing in our way?
Effective communication occurs when a message has been sent and received accurately, and fully understood by all parties. To ensure the conversations you have are effective, you should stay away from the following four barriers:
1. Failing to listen
Failing to listen is a top conversation killer. A common bad habit is to spend your time formulating your response rather than listening. This causes you will miss the point and the conversation will become very one sided. If you are struggling to keep up, pause for a moment to consider your response before you start speaking.
2. Not asking questions
Not asking questions can be a major obstacle to successful communication. As well as, demonstrating you’re actively listening, asking questions allows you to reflect on what has been asked of you. This ensures everyone is on the same page and will help you remember more of the conversation.
3. No Rapport
Without a sense of rapport with your conversation partner, you may find it awkward or unpleasant. Building rapport is as simple as asking how someone’s day has been or how they feel about current affairs. It’s always good for people to feel that they are speaking to someone friendly and willing to help.
4. Not understanding of what you’re talking about or who you’re talking to
This one is especially important in business conversations. If you don’t know anything about the topic or person, you are going to struggle. It helps to have all of the right information at your fingertips, so you are fully prepared for the conversation.
There are many schools of thought surrounding communication tactics and how to improve them. How can we make those tips actionable and apply them to our day to day lives?
Join CloudCall on Wednesday, March 11, at 1:00 PM ET (5:00 PM GMT) for a Thought Leadership Webinar, hosted by Moshe Cohen, Lecturer at Boston University and Founder of The Negotiating Table. Cohen will explore these questions and provide key takeaways for having a good conversation such as:
- Methods for communicating effectively and building rapport faster
- A closer look at the communication channels we should be using and when
- Tactics for using conversations to negotiate, train, and on-board