Soft skills are what separate us from robots and artificial intelligence. Most workplaces are now putting increasing importance on how good prospective employees are in their soft skills – the most important of which is good and effective communication.
Famous entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk or Bill Gates were not the most creative or intellectual people in their companies. However, they were the most effective communicators and were able to explain their vision to others, inspire them and get them to do the required work. The actual developers of the iPhone, Tesla electric car and Microsoft Windows remain hidden while these great communicators got all the glory.
Why does effective communication outdo high IQ and creativity in the business environment? This is because most jobs in the corporate sectors require you to work well with others.
Whether you are a salesperson convincing your client or a manager getting your juniors to follow your instructions well or getting your colleagues to agree to your suggestions, you need to be able to convey your thoughts in a crisp and clear manner.
Some people were born with great communication skills while most others need to develop these skills over time.
Here are 10 communication tips that will show you why it is one of the most important soft skills in demand now:
1. Learn how to listen
All great communicators are also great at listening. Only by listening can you understand the point of view of the person you are speaking to and be able to tweak the way you present your ideas in a way that appeals most to their interests. Listening completely prepares you for answering in an effective way. Start by paying attention to whoever is talking to you and don’t let your mind wander away.
2. Coordinate your body and words
It’s important that your body says whatever you are saying. Body language including gestures and overall posture must be reflecting what you are trying to communicate. Listeners get a little suspicious of your intentions if your body and words don’t coordinate.
3. Maintain eye contact
Eye contact also has great value. When you maintain eye contact with an audience while communicating with them, it reassures them that you are honest and sincere. People tend to believe you more when you maintain eye contact with them.
4. Speak slowly
It literally doesn’t mean that you bore the audience with your low pitch and dragging speed. You just have to ensure that your speed is balanced, and people can clearly listen to each word you are saying.
5. Engage the listener
Engaging the listener means communicating in such a manner that people are interested in talking to you. Use simple and easy to understand words which appeal to the listener’s emotions along with their logic. This is essentially important if you want to become an exceptional communicator.
6. Tell stories (real ones)
Nothing gets the audience like stories and meaningful examples. You totally sell it when you tell a story. People listen to you more carefully and they become more interested. When you tell real life stories and examples people understand that you are experienced and know what you are saying. Also, people always like to hear about what others did more than just listening to statistics.
7. Let people participate
Be that friendly person who never gets offended when people ask questions. This not only makes people more interested but you get to learn, and people value you more. Nothing can prove your authenticity like an open question and answer session.
8. Use humour
Humour is important if you want to sell your stories. Humour helps in impressing listeners, validates your stories and polishes your existing skill. You should never be concerned about being a little clever and using humour.
9. Maintain positivity
This comes with a great smile and exceptional attitude. People should feel comfortable and motivated when talking to you because you have a strong positive attitude.
10. Practice makes perfect
Pretty old but yet valid. This can take you a long way. The best approach is to practice communicating a lot. Whatever you intend to do, rehearse it. While rehearsing you’ll be able to analyse the pros and cons of your communication and fill in the gaps.
Remember that becoming an effective communicator requires you to keep learning and improving yourself every day. Some of the great communicators of the past were constant students of this art and were never happy to rest on their laurels. Keep learning and communicating lifelong!
Read more: India Today