The ABC’s of Successful Communication
Statistics show that 85% of our success in life, both professional and personal, is directly attributed to our communication skills. Communication is more than just exchanging information. It’s important to understand the emotion and intentions behind the information.
Effective communication is a two-way street, so how do you convey a message so that it’s received and understood by someone the way you intended? You can start by considering the following ABC’s of communication:
When you listen, are you truly listening? Listening with your ears and your eyes helps gain the full meaning of what’s being said and makes the other person feel heard and understood. Asking questions and acknowledging the message confirms your involvement in the conversation and helps align understanding. Acknowledging the message does NOT mean you agree with it, it just lets the other person know that you are listening, which develops trust.
Non-verbal communication is just as important as what is being said. Read other people’s body language, and make eye contact with the speaker. Non-verbally, clue the speaker that you understand the message (slight head nod). Make sure your own body language is open and receptive.
Constructive and Concise
People need to trust each other in order to communicate at a high level. Use people’s names, always be constructive, ask people for their opinions, and be very open to their feedback. The best ideas and teamwork happen when people aren’t afraid to share their ideas, so keep it as simple as possible, get to the point, and use analogies if you can.
Communication is so important in our daily lives. When we communicate well, we can do anything. Practice being an effective communicator with these three tips.
“Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey (1932-2012)