Communication is the process of expressing your opinions, feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Good communication skills help in determining you as a person. If you are an excellent communicator, you can express your thoughts in a better fashion and maintain healthy, long-term relationships. Hence we bring here some tips for effective communication.
- Do you think that communication is speaking with correct words?
- Is it just smiling and thanking the other person often?
- Is it speaking loudly and dominantly so that the other person could hear you?
- Is it mere nodding or shaking head when the other person is speaking?
Communication is a two-way process. If a sender sends a message, the receiver needs to acknowledge it. You should not only express your thoughts and feelings but also listen to others and acknowledge them.
According to Albert Mehrabian, communication is inclusive of following three components:
- Visual, including facial expressions – It is a common belief that visual communications is inclusive of facial expressions and body language. In reality, it also includes attire, grooming, etiquette, etc. Surprisingly, all these factors have 55% impact on the others.
- Vocal – Vocal communication, inclusive of tone, intonation, and pitch of the voice of a person has an impact of nearly 38% on the others.
- Verbal (Oral as well as written communication) – The balance, 7% of the impact is generated by verbal communication that includes oral as well as written communication.
So, the component of non-verbal communication (Vocal as well as Verbal) creates an effect of nearly 84% on the others. Now, you will get an insight of how you can enhance your non-verbal communication component.
Another common belief of many people is that communication starts when we open our mouth to speak. You are never given a choice to communicate. You will have to communicate through your outfit, grooming, etiquette, the way you sit, walk and make your body movements.
Now, let us learn some tips for effective communication, verbal as well as non-verbal communication.
Tips For Effective Communication
The Art of Speaking
Here, we are offering you tips about effective communication (speaking in a general sense). Public speaking involves a great deal of effort and much more practice.
- Get an idea about the distance between you and the other person. Adjust your volume and pitch accordingly. Do not speak in a small voice or in a loud voice.
- Similarly, do not speak too fast as if the other person is running away. You have to be clear and understandable for the other person.
- If you are in a public place, and are angry at someone, do not use abusive language. There might be someone who knows you in that place and will judge you instantly at that critical moment. Have you even seen a lady using abusive language in a train or in a bus? Even if her anger is justified, we get a wrong impression of that person.
- Similarly, if you are excited or happy, do not scream loudly or raise your voice in the public. Use your poise effectively to communicate the message.
- When you speak in a raised voice on your phone or with your partner or friend, it seems like you are craving for attention.
- Speak clearly and confidently. Do not babble. Stress the words properly. For better speaking skills, you can go for voice and accent training course.
- Do not speak when you are eating or chewing. These are bad table manners.
- While speaking on phone, ask the person whether he or she is able to hear your voice or not. If you are explaining any concept or idea, then you need to check the other person at regular intervals by asking, ‘Hope you are getting it,’ or ‘I would like to know your views about it.’ In this way, there would be a two-way communication.
The Art of Listening
Effective communication is not just speaking. It is also acknowledging and listening to what the other person says.
- We hear, we listen. There is difference between both the actions. We you hear, you might not be attentive and comprehending what the other person is speaking. But when you listen, you are being attentive and conveying it through your responses. You are listening to the other person and registering it in your brain.
- You need to maintain a proper balance in speaking and listening. You should keep on talking like an egocentric person.
- If you are in a job interview, ask the interviewer about the company and the job profile. You need not just keep answering the questions.
- When the other person is speaking, do not interrupt even when you agree or disagree as it sounds considerably rude. If you agree, you can say, ‘You and me are on the same page,’ and if you disagree, it would be polite to say, ‘I understand but I see things from a different viewpoint.’ In this way, you will not just keep nodding your head.
- If you feel that the other person is talking too much and not allowing you to speak, then you can start with an ‘Excuse me’ and opine your thoughts.
- On phone, you can acknowledge the other person with a simple, ‘Okay,’ or ‘Yes.’ This is because the other person won’t be able to see your face and notice your facial expressions.
Maintaining Your Body Language
As we have already seen, body language creates 55% of the impact on others. Hence, you need to be extra-careful in expressing your body movements and facial expressions as well for effective communication.
- It is not good to make faces when the other person is speaking or when you are in an interview room or at a conference.
- You need to be cheerful. Now, this does not mean that you have to keep smiling all the time or have a fake smile on your face. Smiling does not mean grinning, but how your face transforms when you notice a person.
- Do not dig your fingers in your nose or ears or even hair. This will show that you are not groomed or clean.
- You should not touch your chin or face often as it can be distracting for the listener. You need to be as natural as possible.
- When you talk with a person or greet a person, always maintain eye contact with him or her. You cannot say ‘Welcome’ staring down or looking sideways. Maintaining eye contact is a sign of being confident and honest to the other person.
- When you are giving a speech, you need to maintain eye contact here as well. You have to shift your eye contact from one person to another and not miss anyone. It is not a better idea to stare only at one person and speak continuously. Similarly, looking down or staring at the ceiling shows that you have a fear of public speaking.
- If you have the habit of gesturing when you speak, it is fine. There is no hard and fast rule about gesticulating. However, you should not be distracting the listener or be diverting from the message you are trying to deliver. If you are gesturing every word, then it will appear funny and amusing.
- Stand and walk straight. Perform exercises daily to maintain a good posture. Do not slouch while sitting. An erect posture shows that you are confident about yourself.
- When you sit at a table, do not touch your elbows on the table. In the interview room, do not rest hands on the table. If you are at the conference table, do not rest your face in your palms on the table as it will look casual and impolite and shows that you are not attentive.
- While standing and listening to someone, do not cross hands. Folded arms seem to be a common body movement, but it gives wrong signals to the other person. It may seem that you are not confident and hence, are trying to be far from the discussion. You might also appear that you are not open to good ideas or are aggressive.
- A handshake is an important form of physical contact. You should not have a weak or arm-wrestling handshake. Maintain eye contact as well. Do not raise your elbows in the outward direction while shaking hands. Do not just hold hands, shake a little as well. If you are shaking the hand of a senior, then get up and do so. If your hands are sweaty or wet, then please tell the other person as no one would like to shake sweaty hand.
- When you are in an interview room, or in a conference or meeting, do not fiddle with your hands. People judge not only by facial expressions and good posture but also by your finger movements. When you fiddle, you look nervous and tensed. Hence, avoid it. Even playing with a pen or your scarf is not a good gesture and conveys the wrong message to the other person.
Thus, one needs to know and implement these tips for effective communication. You have to be a good speaker, attentive listeners and know how to acknowledge using body movements. Once you are well-versed with these tips, you will cross and overcome all the gaps arising in the communication process.