Learn to Communicate Effectively

27 Jul

isOne of the most important aspects of my job involves communication.  Every day, I communicate — verbally and in writing — with customers (and prospective customers), colleagues, subordinates, and interns, among others.

At the risk of sounding somewhat critical and condescending, I am disappointed with the state of verbal and written communication.  I don’t want to get on my “soapbox” and rail against electronic communication and social media, but I do feel that interpersonal and professional communication have steadily deteriorated and eroded over the past few decades.

The ability to effectively, concisely, and compellingly articulate thoughts, feelings, and ideas to others is important for all of us.  Fortunately, effective communication is a skill that can be learned, developed, and improved.  People recognize the value of a truly effective and efficient communicator.

Here are some thoughts for improving your verbal and written communication:

  • Be organized.  This should be done before you attempt to communicate your thoughts.
  • Be focused.  Choose no more than 2-3 key points, and focus on those.
  • Be clear.  Set expectations, from the beginning, about what you want to communicate.
  • Stay on topic.  Don’t stray off course.
  • Be articulate.  Deliver your message clearly and unambiguously.
  • Enunciate clearly, when speaking.  Speak at an appropriate volume and enunciate key points.
  • Be attentive, when listening.  Effective communication is a two-way activity.  You can’t learn and understand when you’re talking.
  • Maintain eye contact, when communicating in-person.  Eye contact builds rapport and displays interest.
  • Practice.  Speak more, write more, and read (yes, read) more.
  • Educate yourself.  Build and develop familiarity, comfort, and expertise with your subject matter.
  • Model others.  Read, listen to, and emulate others you consider effective and compelling communicators.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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