Saturday, August 9, 2008

Be A Better Communicator

We’ve all seen them. The person who seems like he/she has a way with words in personal conversation and always gets their point across. What do they do that makes them different? How do they do it? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could do it too? Though some people are born with natural ability to communicate, you can learn to be a better communicator with a little practice.

Following is a random series of observations regarding good communicators and what you can do to be more like them.

  • Smile, even if it hurts a little. A smile puts the listener at ease and in a frame of mind to listen.
  • Be first to say “hello.” Greeting someone recognizes them as a person you value.
  • Take risks. Don't overly anticipate rejection as it can make you seem timid.
  • Change the topic of conversation when it has run its course.
  • Prove you are a good listener by briefly restating others comments back to them in different words.
  • Be able to tell others what you do in a few short sentences. A few words will go along way. Plan ahead and choose words carefully.
  • Always use good eye contact, but especially when making your first contact with people. It shows someone you are focused on and value them.
  • Greet people you see regularly even if you don't know them. When the time comes for conversation with them, you will find a ready audience.
  • Seek common goals, interests, and experiences with the people you
    meet.
  • Let others play the expert. Be ready to let someone be an expert, unless their advice or information is wrong in the extreme, and even then use tact when offering correction.
  • Get enthusiastic about other's interests. Have several pre-developed questions ready ask in order to show interest.
  • Balance the giving and receiving of information. If things go too much in the direction of one party in a conversation things quickly become boring.
  • Be open to other's feelings and opinions. You will be amazed at what can be learned.
    Express your feelings, opinions, and emotions to others. It is OK to show a little passion about a topic.
  • Ask people their opinions. Most people have an opinion about almost everything but will not share it unless asked. Be tolerant of other's beliefs if you don't agree with them.
  • Look for the positive in the people you meet. There is a positive side to almost everyone no matter how they seem.
  • When you tell a story, present the main point first, and then add the
    supporting details afterward. This makes the difference between someone who tells a good story and those who do not. It gets the listener engaged and the story is in the details.
  • Be aware of open and closed body language. Crossed arms and legs, diverted eyes, etc., may mean that someone does not want to hear what you have to say.
  • Make an effort to help people if you can. They will remember you forever.

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