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How to Improve My Communication Skills

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Posted 02 October 2013 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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• Bespoke in-house training.
These can be tailored to your specific needs.
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You may find the following will help with your Nonverbal Communication skills training.

How to improve communication skills

Communication is defined as; "A transfer of information from one mind to another".

Your communication skills are, therefore, a measure of your ability to accurately transfer the information that is in your mind, into the minds of others.

If you are a good communicator, then you can put into other peoples minds, word pictures, information and emotions, that will induce people to respond positively to your message.
If you are not a good communicator, then you will fail to get your message across, and you won't get the positive results you want.
People who are good communicators have a tremendous advantage over those people who are not good communicators.
If you would improve your communication skills, then you would notice some tremendous advantages.

So the question is: how can I improve my communication skills?

Here are five good tips:

1. Use affirmative language

Affirmative language is the language of affirmation.

It means that you should talk mostly about what you want; rather than what you don't want.
Affirmative language means that you should spend longer talking about the things that you desire. Don't talk too much about the things you fear.
Spend longer talking about the things that you like. Don't talk too much about the things you hate.

Affirmative language means that you should spend longer talking about the things that you admire in others: Don't talk too much about what you dislike in the others.
Affirmative language means that you should spend longer talking about the things that you are going to do. Don't talk too much about the things you are not going to do.

Many people do the opposite: they speak in terms of what they fear; what they dislike; what they oppose; and what they will not do. All these things are fine. But don't dwell on them.

Instead, dwell on the affirmative action.

Communication Skills Training

Communication Skills Training

Do you ever think to yourself, "I know what I mean, but I can't explain it"? You need to be able communicate facts, feelings, information and ideas, in a clear, professional and confident manner. If you want to learn more about our communication skills training, please click here.

2. Focus the conversation through the content sieve

The content sieve is the method I use, when I am at work, to ensure that the conversation I am having is the one I should be having.

The content sieve is a three part test that sieves conversations through three filters.

  1. Is this content relevant? Or irrelevant to the issue at hand?
  2. Is this conversation important? Or trivial?
  3. Is this content reliable? Or unreliable?

When we are at work we need our conversations to be mostly about topics and information that are:

  • Relevant
  • Important and
  • True

At work all across the country, too much time is spent talking about things that are:

  • Irrelevant
  • Trivial, and
  • Speculative

Such conversation is useless.

In fact, it is worse than useless; it is counterproductive.

Use the content sieve.

3. Use specific clearly defined language; not vague, ambiguous language

Since communication is the transfer of information, then the more accurate the wording, the more accurate will be the transfer of information.

The less accurate the wording, the less accurate will be the transfer of information.

Whenever you have the choice, choose the more accurate wording to express the thought.

For example:

Don't say "It was going fast".
Say "It was going at 75 mph".

Don't say "He looked scruffy".
Say, "He came to the interview wearing a tee shirt and he was unshaven".

Don't say, "I feel he was not suitable".
Say, "He did not seem to have proper manners: he did not say "please" or "thank you", once during the whole session".

Ambiguous language is language that can be properly interpreted in more than one way. Such language represents a potential for misunderstandings and confusion.

If I asked you to "send me the documents. A.S.A.P."; then this would be an example of Ambiguous language, because A.S.A.P. is language that can be properly interpreted in more than one way.

The phrase, "as soon as possible", (A.S.A.P.) contains within it a potential for misunderstandings and confusion.

Use specific language.

4. Use good voice tones

Voice tones are the musical elements of your speech. Your voice volume, rhythm, intonation, pitch, tone and quality.

Some people have pleasing tones.
Some others, do not.
Some people have deeper, richer, more variable and interesting voice tones.
Some other people have shrill, monotone, boring or irritating voice tones.
Become more conscious of your voice tones.

Try to follow these guidelines:

Use the lower end of your range. Deeper voices carry more authority.
Speak up. Don't be too quiet. Louder volume implies confidence.
Be variable. Inject life and energy and movement into your voice. Don't be monotone. Don't be too predictable.
Be louder, deeper, more enthusiastic and authoritative.
Don't be too shrill, too quiet, or too lifeless.
Use good voice tones.

5. Use good body language

Your body language is how you appear, visually, to others as you communicate.

Most people do judge books by their covers. They have to. The cover is all you can see. You can't see into another person's soul. You have to look and see what they are doing.

People can, and do, judge you on your appearance.

Use that fact to your advantage, by doing the following.

  • Dress right - Don't ignore the social conventions and expectations of the people with whom you are trying to communicate.
  • Stand right - Stand up as if you have some energy, don't lean or lope about.
  • Look at people in the eye - Give them some eye contact. The eyes are important. Don't be too evasive.
  • Never point at anyone - Pointing is an aggressive act. It tends to trigger a negative reaction in the minds of listeners. If you need to gesticulate, then open your hand, put it palms down and wave it about under the eye line.

To repeat

Don't point.

Instead use a hand gesture that is:

  • Open handed.
  • Palms down.
  • Moving under the eye line.

In summary;

In order to improve your communication skills;

Try the following:

1. Use affirmative language. Affirmative language means that you should spend longer talking about the things that you admire; don't talk too much about what you dislike in the others.

2. Focus the conversation through the content sieve. When we are at work we need our conversations to be mostly about topics and information that are:

  • Relevant
  • True

3. Use specific language. Whenever you have the choice, choose the more accurate wording to express the thought.

4. Use good voice tones. Don't be too shrill, too quiet, or too lifeless. Instead be louder, deeper, more enthusiastic and authoritative.

5. Use good body language. People can, and do, judge you on your appearance. Use that fact to your advantage by the intelligent use of your body language.

Thank you.

Please follow this link for more information about Corporate Coach Group Communications Skills Training Courses

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