by Mariana Freire, McLuhan & Davies Communications, Inc.
Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important non-technical skills and crucial to building strong relationships at work and in life. These five tips will help you practice your communication skills not only to express ideas and exchange information but also to make long-lasting connections:
- Practice Active Listening
The ability to be fully present and listen actively to what someone has to say is a valuable skill to strengthen relationships, and yet, it’s often overlooked. Active listening demonstrates respect, consideration and trust. Practicing it goes beyond hearing: we must park our own agenda, pay attention without interrupting and avoid distractions like glancing at our phone during a conversation.
- Adapt to Your Audience
When it’s our turn to deliver a message, it’s important to consider our audience and their communication style. Are they visual? Do they like detailed information? The ability to adapt our own preferred style to the style of others shows empathy and inclusion. It also increases the chances to deliver our message effectively and reduce the risk of misinterpretations.
- Avoid Assumptions
The human brain is designed to make assumptions. However, assuming that someone already knows what we expect and need from them can lead to frustration for both parties. When we take time to think about our expectations and communicate them clearly, we eliminate misunderstandings, strengthen bonds and get better results.
- Show Appreciation
Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Taking the time to thank and acknowledge the contributions of others is indispensable to building strong relationships. Genuine gratitude goes beyond good manners and giving praise; many studies show that it also increases our own happiness and well-being.
- Add a personal touch
While technology has made it easy for us to communicate with each other, research shows that instant communication often lacks intimacy and genuine intent. Sending a personalized note, a thank you letter or a congratulations card demonstrates thoughtfulness, invested time and care. These small acts of investment remind others that they’re important to us and have a positive impact on our relationships.
Communication plays a pivotal role in human connectivity. It’s an essential skill to build successful relationships in all areas of life and it requires practice!
McLuhan and Davies Communications Inc. specializes in Business Communication Skills Training. For over 35 years, we have helped thousands of professionals transform how they think, write, speak and – lead. As a leader in the Learning & Development industry we provide workshops, webinars and consulting services to transform individual skills and organizations’ learning solutions. Contact us to learn more!