Communication is the process of transfer of information between two entities, usually defined as “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, ideas, or information by means of speech, writing, or signs.” Where we all know that the universe runs on communication, where access to different dimensions reveal more efficient and subtler forms of communication. Understanding the true nature of communication is essential for ensuring a continued and healthy personal, social, and professional life. We all are born with the ability to communicate optimally; we sometimes fail, because we discover these elements as we learn from our mistakes. For most us, communication skills have to be nurtured over time. We only grow based on experiments, and even a failed experiment cannot be termed as failure, if we realize our fallacies and go about rectifying our malfunction.
Here are certain steps that you can follow to improve your communication skills:
Take responsibility for what you think
This is one primordial aspect of communication which if not adhered to, is most likely to result in unfavorable consequences. Think before you speak, and remember what you speak, so that you can analyze the efficiency of your communication later, so that you are prepared before you address groups or individuals the next time, especially in a professional environment. Plan your presentations beforehand. When you’re in the developmental stage, its always a benefit to have a general idea on what you would like to speak. Always be honest and direct, so that your points are put forth without any filtration. When you communicate, your attitude plays an important role in developing your disposition; so never be rude or insensitive, be sincere, respectful, and accepting of other people. Act sensible, and learn to communicate with care.
Don’t look for keywords in a conversation
We need to be good listeners, if we are to improve our communication skills. We need to pay close attention to what others are saying, and that with patience and utmost concentration. Not only should you be able to speak efficiently, but also engage in interesting conversations on what the other person is speaking about. Do not listen to only the end of sentence to get an idea of what the speaker is saying, you need to pay attention to the entire sentences. Responding to one’s opinions, simply on the basis of few keywords from what you capture, doesn’t guarantee completion of communication. The whole sentence is to be absorbed as it comes, and only then will the interpretation hold precision.
It’s in the eyes
Always maintain your eye contact with those whom you’re speaking with, especially if it is a formal communication. Staring elsewhere makes you seem less trustworthy in the eyes of your listeners. If you’re doing it while you’re engaged in a serious or supposedly a critical conversation, it is likely to make you look suspicious and hapless. This of course does not mean you should start a staring contest. Make sure you put your audience at ease by holding their eye gaze every once in a while. Looking into the eyes of the person with whom you are conversing can make the whole conversation more enjoyable and fruitful, regardless of whether you are actually speaking or listening.
Eye contact generates interest and makes you look interested, encouraging successful social interactions. Here’s another tip that might prove useful to you – when we are tensed, or angry, or aware, our eyes stop blinking. So, if you see this sign emanating from the person with whom you’re conversing, then you need to bring the conversation back to the state of ease.
Let’s do it precise and slow
We need to be slow, clear, and confident in what we speak. Speaking too fast will make your audience lose track of what you’re trying to say, and subsequently drain their interest. Do not use synonyms if you’re not sure of their intended uses. Speak loudly, only enough to be heard, and not which will make your audience reach for cover. An appropriate tone of voice and volume will give the audience a good opinion about you and make you look like you know exactly what you want say, and that what you say is worth hearing. Also, monotonous approach to speaking is not a good idea, be lively and active. Stress well on the appropriate syllables, for stressing improperly is most likely to change the meaning of what you say.
Practice is the best way to improve your communication skills. The more you practice the easier it gets. New skills will take time to develop and practice is essential. Beware of your body language, which is as important as speaking out the words. A relaxed look with arms by your side will encourage people to converse with you, inversely crossed arms and hunched shoulders give an impression of disinterest or unwillingness to communicate. The right body language can make the most difficult of conversations a cake walk. However, all the deductions about what body language communicates are purely based on assumptions, and there is possibility that one may not intend to display any defense when he/she has the arms crossed. So, don’t get into judging or reading people by their faces or body language; just connect to the speaker or the listener, it’s as simple as talking to your best friend.
Maintain your true disposition
Speak out what you have in your mind, but do remain thoughtful of what you speak. Be confident, and know that your imputes to the conversation counts. People who are hesitant to speak because they do not feel their input is worthwhile, often end up not speaking or adding to a conversation which they otherwise would have shined at. This world is big enough to come across people who think alike; seek out and don’t be shy, your opinions count too, its just a matter of perspective. Life has infinite interpretations, but there is only one reality, and we’re definitely nowhere near it. So, we need to undergo continuous refinement, and develop our communication skills, to actually give rise to an uncloaked disposition, and interpret things that are at close proximity to the “real” happening.