Self, Health And Wellness

5 Powerful Ways To Make A Good Impression On Your Coworkers

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How To Improve Communication Skills & Communicate More Effectively At Work

Communication, or how to communicate effectively, is one of the most important skills you can learn in your life. You use communication skills in your relationships, work, and social interactions.

In a business setting, effective communication skills are even more essential — and knowing how to improve communication skills will make sure that you're clearly heard and understood by your peers every time you communicate with them.

After all, having your colleagues hear you, respond to you, and follow your leadership in the workplace is important for your career success.

RELATED: 5 Ways Your Career Success Depends On Your Effective Communication

So, how do you become a great communicator? One whom everyone hears and listens to? How do you communicate what you want and need clearly, while simultaneously avoiding hurt feelings or misunderstandings?

Here are 5 habits you need to adopt in order to improve communication skills and communicate more effectively at work.

1. Be specific.

Did you know your attention span is even less than that of a goldfish? Kind of scary. Humans used to be able to keep our attention on a subject for twelve seconds. Now, you're down to eight before your mind wanders to the next new, shiny idea.

The easiest way to build good communication skills?

Cut to the chase. When you are giving a speech or leading a meeting, first decide what the one main concept is you want everyone to leave with. Then make it into a sentence of no more than nine words.

2. Be personal.

Tell a short story (no more than 50 words) about the "why" of what you are doing.

After the "why", you can tell the how and the what. "Why" works wonders for guiding people to stay with you and support you fully while you're communicating.

3. Listen and ask.

Everyone grew up being told what to do, when to do it, and often, how to do it. So if you are a "teller", know you will be only mildly listened to. No lecture. No monologue.

Find ways to create an interactive dialogue and ask for suggestions. No, you don't have to take the suggestions. Yes, you do have to listen with respect.

RELATED: 5 Listening Skills To Make Every Conversation More Valuable

4. Interpret.

That's right. The key for how to communicate better is to listen for the silences and for what is not said. Bring these often uncomfortable issues to light and even if you are also uncomfortable, simply ask for the elephant in the room to come forward. Then, just wait.

There will be both relief and appreciation that you have the courage to stand for the truth that is ready to emerge.

5. It's not about you.

Effective communication techniques are not about you, your opinions, your problems, or your possibilities. It's about them. It's about meeting their needs and helping to fulfill their hopes while adding value to what matters to them.

Remember, meet people where they are not where you want them to be.

If you want successful communication, you need to work on asking yourself if you want to be respected, appreciated, loved, or challenged.

This is where most of the hard work of communication goes internal. You need to check your ego. If you need to be right all the time, you will lose. If you need to be loved all the time, you will lose.

The hardest part of powerful communication is saying what you mean and then doing what you say, without the fanfare of being told how great you are.

Communication is really taking who you are on the inside and showing the inner you to the world.

RELATED: 9 Smooth Ways To Deal With Difficult People At Work

Dr. Sylvia Lafair is a change management expert. Her programs and executive coaching help decrease conflict and increase cooperation in the workplace.

This article was originally published at Sylvia Lafair INC. Reprinted with permission from the author.