What makes a good communicator? Learn the top five traits of people who can get their message across effectively.
Workplace communication is often the bugbear of modern managers. Even with all the methods of communication at our disposal –email, collaboration tools, messaging apps and more – we can still find it hard to get our points across and be able to be effective in discussions.
Read on for five great traits to cultivate…
1. Hone your listening skills
Though we often think that speaking or writing are the main components of communication, listening is a vital factor in good conversation. A good communicator will wait to listen to the other person or people they are interacting with, consider what they have said, and then respond appropriately. Sometimes, people in a conversation can get so caught up in what they would like to say that they forget to listen, meaning they may not contribute anything useful to the conversation.
2. Be clear and concise
A great communicator knows that you should always convey a message with as few words as necessary. Waffling at length about a topic can sometimes lose your audience, so it’s best to keep things short and to the point. Good speakers go in-depth where necessary, but otherwise it’s good to use clear language in shorter bursts.
3. Cultivate confidence
Communication isn’t just verbal. People also communicate non-verbally, so our body language and the way we present ourselves makes a big difference. Maintaining a confident stance, and speaking in a self-assured way, can be the difference between a good presentation and an awful one. Confidence is key, even when you’re not feeling entirely sure of yourself – sometimes you have to fake it to make it!
4. Use empathy
A good conversationalist knows that to be great at handling disagreements and discussions, you have to be able to empathise with the other person. Being empathetic is a great trait to have, because it means that you can understand the other person’s point of view. Sometimes, that means you can better argue against that view, but often it means that your conversation is more productive.
5. Be self-aware
The best communicators are the ones that are aware of their own contributions to the conversation, and know how best to help the flow of dialogue. Communication for the sake of it is not very helpful. Great communicators will know when a contribution is needed, and when it’s best to let others take the floor. If you can highlight the skills of another person who is better equipped to handle a communication issue, you should: teamwork is crucial for ensuring there aren’t any communication issues in the workplace.
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