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Six Top Tips to Improve your Communication

Six Top Tips to Improve Your Communication

Six Top Tips to Improve Your Communication

Here are six ways to improve your communication skills:

  1. Be clear
  2. Be rational
  3. Be positive
  4. Listen more
  5. Ask more questions
  6. Criticise ideas, not people

1. Be clear.

The most important thing is to be clearly understood. You cannot afford to pay the price for being misunderstood.

In order to be clearly understood, be as specific as you can.

Don't speak in ambiguous ways.

For instance, don't say, "Please bring back some milk on the way home".

Instead, be more specific, "Please bring back two litres of semi skimmed (green topped), cow's milk, on the way home".

Ambiguity causes unnecessary error.

Clarity is a virtue; vagueness is a vice.

2. Be rational.

You may be clear, but you may be clearly wrong.

Therefore, provide an underpinning logical rationale to support whatever you are saying.

If you do not provide a rationale, then there will be no reason for anybody to take your message seriously.

You have heard it said that, everything happens for a reason.

Apply that rule to your use of language.

You should always provide good reasons for any opinion or request that you make.

We call this point, the rule of reason.

3. Be positive.

Be as optimistic as you can reasonably be. No one wants to hang-out with a pessimist.

Pessimists are no fun whatsoever.

That does not mean that you should walk around trying to be Mr Happy all the time.

But you should look around for some "reasons to be cheerful".

We call this, rational optimism.

Become a rational optimist.

4. Listen more.

Communication is not just about transmitting; it is also about receiving.

Many people talk too much and don't listen enough. Why?

Because they wrongly believe that; the more they speak, the better they are.

But remember that you can never learn anything by repeating what you already know.

You can only learn something when you receive ideas.

So, it is more beneficial to keep your mouth shut, and your eyes and ears open.

Learn to listen; Listen to learn.

5. Ask more questions.

Don't allow any random ideas to fall like weeds, into the garden of your mind.

If you do, you mind will soon be full of weeds.

Instead, be like the master gardener of your own mind. Be selective.

Weed-out bad ideas and seed your mind with only the best ideas and information available.

Question everything.

Ask "where did that idea originate?" and rigorously test ideas to see if they are actually true.

There is an infinite number of wrong answers to any question.

For instance; There are an infinite number of wrong answers to the question, "what is the sum of 5+4?" But there is only one correct answer.

  • Be careful.
  • Be cautious.

There are an infinite number of wrong, false and wicked ideas, kicking around this planet, and a much smaller number of good, right and true ideas.

Your mission is to discover the small number of good, right and true ideas.

In order to do that, you must ask a lot of questions.

We call this rule; question everything.

6. Criticise ideas, not people.

When in conversation with others, it is important to NOT criticise people.

Reserve your criticism for ideas, not people.

There is a big difference between saying,

"I think X is a bad idea" and "I think you are stupid for believing in X".

When in conversation, never attack the character, or the intelligence, or the ego of the other person.

It never works-out well.

We call this principle; critique the idea but respect the person.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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