By: Anne Bachrach
Step 4: Learn How to Use Tone and Body Language Together
In trying to improve your own communication, beware of a defensive posture or negative voice inflection. Once a person goes on the defensive, the conversation tends to spiral into oblivion. Make sure that you use a friendly and welcoming posture, with open arms and a smile. If you sense yourself taking on defensive gestures or even resorting to a defensive tone (perhaps provoked by the other person) then eliminate those telling signs. Don’t let emotion overpower good judgment. In fact, the misreading of body language and tone of voice is one of the most common problems in the break down of communication. Even if you are saying something agreeable, if you show physical signs to the contrary, your message and your honesty will come under suspicion. Remember that negative and positive body language comes across in any language and in any circumstances.
Step 5: Never Assume Anything
Assumptions are another common problem, whether they are self-fulfilled assumptions or merely assuming that others see things in the exact same way that you do. Never assume—the fact of the matter is that most people do not see things they way that you do, nor do they have the same feelings as you do. The less you assume, the better. This falls under the category of making sure that your communication is always clear.
Step 6: Recognize Communication Issues caused by Technology
With the advent of new technologies also come new technology-related barriers in communication. Sometimes messages can be misunderstood because of cell phone static. Additionally, when communicating by phone it is common for people to use selective hearing (hearing what they want to hear), which can add to the problem. Other technology based communication problems might result from lost phone messages or ambiguous email messages. Lastly, remember that this form of impersonal communication usually doesn’t allow for non-verbal clues, although virtual conferencing is an ever-increasing trend.
Other communication problems may result from keeping biases and stereotyping groups of individuals based on their race, sex, nationality, age or religion. Remember that nothing is universally true of any kind of person; every man or woman should be given the chance to prove him or herself based on efficient work. What cannot be denied however is that with more diversity in the office comes the possibility of major cultural differences and personality clashes. Sensitivity training has helped many in this regard.
Step 7: Learn How to Talk Business
If you are trying to get someone to open up then try using open-ended questions rather than yes or no interrogations. When reviewing your own tactful manner analyze how you approach people. Do you bully them with close-ended questions or do you ask them in a positive manner how the both of you can make necessary changes to get a project, for example, moving more efficiently?
The more effective you can be with your communication the more successful you will be – personally and professionally. Communication can be extremely powerful in helping you or it can hurt you. Apply any or all of the seven steps mentioned above and set goals around enhancing your communication.
- How Effective Are Your Communication Skills? (healthstream.typepad.com)
- 3 Body Language Secrets To Give You The Edge (urbantimes.co)
- How to use body language secrets when negotiating a raise or promotion (salarytutor.com)
- Body Language in Interviews (roscreajobclub.wordpress.com)
- Efficiency vs. Effectiveness: How to Find the Right Sales and Marketing Tools (retargeter.com)
- Communication skills – defining your long term success!! (deepalipatrikar.wordpress.com)