Have you ever worked for someone with exceptional communication skills? Whether they have a knack for simplifying a complex topic or inspiring a team with just the right message, gifted communicators are able to instantly win over their audience in any setting — from a large conference audience to a one-on-one meeting.
The good news is that I genuinely believe great communicators are made, not born. Here are a few articles offering insight into how you can boost your career by improving your communication skills.
STAY FOCUSED TO CONVEY AUTHORITY
“When writing or giving a message, you need to be decisive and focused, which means avoiding rambling, or working through a problem out loud. Speak only when you have something meaningful to say, and make sure your point is clear to whomever you’re speaking with. You can use a service like Evernote to better organize your thoughts, tasks and goals, and work on defining your thoughts in firmer frameworks this way.” — Read more at Entrepreneur.
USE BOLD WORDS THAT INSPIRE CONFIDENCE
“Choose words and phrases that are powerful and eliminate those that sound tentative. … Limiting words, such as ‘possibly,’ ‘probably’ or ‘likely,’ also convey uncertainty. This kind of approach does not translate to contexts where you want to come across as clear, assertive and confident. When your goal is to inform and lead, employing a more directive approach with fewer words is more effective.” — Read more at HuffingtonPost.com.
FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE
“If your office runs on email and text-based communication, it’s worth considering whether you could be a more effective communicator by having conversations in person. It is often more convenient and comfortable to use text-based communication than to approach someone in-person, but if you overestimate the effectiveness of such media, you may regularly—and unknowingly—choose inferior means of influence.” — Read more at Harvard Business Review.
GIVE YOUR COMPLETE ATTENTION
“Doing something else while you are talking, such as texting or writing an email, sends the message that you don’t value what the other person has to say. So eliminate distractions! If you find it hard to concentrate because of your surroundings, move to another area or ask to talk another time. What you don’t want is for this habit to continue because it may be a stumbling block in how others will respond to you later.” — Read more at Inc.com.
REMEMBER THAT LISTENING WELL IS A KEY COMPONENT OF EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION
“While electronic communications make long-distance interaction easier than ever before, it has unfortunately hindered our ability to really listen during an information-rich conversation. This is unfortunate, because skillful listening enables you to catch details that others miss. Many epiphanies and business solutions have been reached thanks to a good listener’s ability to pick up on a hidden gem. One excellent way to immediately improve your listening ability is to practice empathetic listening. Try to feel excited when the person you’re listening to is excited, or concern when the other person is concerned. Reflect the other person’s emotions not only verbally, but also with your facial expressions.” — Read more at Forbes.com.
What’s a communication skill you’ve seen in a leader that has inspired you? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter or in the comments below.
Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on millennials and the multigenerational workplace, trusted by global companies, universities and the world’s top media outlets. A New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her presentations have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.