5 Powerful Habits That Will Make You An Incredible Communicator

Photo: Sergey Nivens, Julia Pomodoro | Canva
Co workers communicating in office

Effective communication is one of the most important skills you can learn. 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 ensure you're heard and understood by your peers every time you communicate with them. After all, having your colleagues hear, respond to, and follow your leadership in the workplace is crucial for your career success.

So, how do you become a great communicator to communicate your needs clearly and avoid hurting others or causing misunderstandings?

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Here are 5 powerful habits that will make you a better communicator:

1. Be specific.

Did you know your attention span is even less than 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 give a speech or lead a meeting, first decide the concept 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 communicating.

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

woman talking with colleague

Photo: fizkes via Shutterstock

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4. Interpret.

That's right. The key to communicating better is to listen for the silences and what is not said. Bring these often uncomfortable issues to light, and if you are uncomfortable, ask for the elephant in the room to come forward. Then, wait. There will be relief and appreciation if you dare to stand for the truth 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 internally. 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 takes who you are inside and shows the inner you to the world.

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Dr. Sylvia Lafair, Ph.D., is a CEO and is an accomplished change management expert and executive coach with over 35 years of experience.

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