4 Experts Advise You on Developing Effective Communication Skills - Growth Freaks

4 Experts Advise You on Developing Effective Communication Skills

effective communication skills

Once we’re past the age when we learn how to communicate with the people around us and express our opinions in public, we don’t really think about communication skills per se. We just communicate because that’s what we’re used to doing. Thus, not many of us actually realize that we can improve our communication skills, which will help us grow our interpersonal relationships. What better way to learn how to develop effective communication skills than to follow the advice of 4 experts? Here’s what they have to say about the characteristics of effective communication.

Expert Advice on Developing Effective Communication Skills

1. Listen First

Jill Haseltine, motivational speaker and coach, advises people not to forget that talking to someone is just part of what makes for a set of effective communication skills. The second part is listening to the other person, so that you can react to what they’re saying to you. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is be quiet. Allow your interlocutor to express his or her thoughts, ideas, feelings, and so on. Then, you’ll be able to come up with much more appropriate answers.

2. Make Eye Contact

Eye contact is crucial when it comes to successful communication. Click to Tweet
You have to know how to find the balance between never looking your interlocutors in the eyes, and looking so intently that you make them uncomfortable. A lot of people find it difficult to look at someone when they’re talking to them. Especially if they’re someone they don’t know very well. Writing coach Robin Smith maintains that this is an essential part of any conversation. If you fail to look someone in the eyes as you’re talking to them, they might think you’re not interested in what they have to say. Or they could assume you’re bored and want to get out of the conversation as soon as possible.

3. Ask Questions

Another marker of a great conversation is people asking a lot of relevant questions. Kirsten Taberner Siggins, one of the authors of “The Power of Curiosity: How to Have Real Conversations that create Collaboration, Innovation and Understanding,” believes that asking questions is what keeps the conversation going. Not only that, but it’s also an indicator that you’re invested in the conversation and interested in the other person’s ideas.

4. Practice Your Skills

If you know communication skills are not your forte, you can always practice them until you become more comfortable talking to people. Founder and CEO of H.K. Productions Inc., Alexis Davis, advises you to practice different types of conversations with someone you fully trust. This will help you loosen up and become less self-conscious. Then, ask that person to provide you with feedback on what you could improve. Do this type of roleplay more than once. That way, you’ll make sure you won’t say anything out of place in the middle of an important conversation. The goal of these roleplays is to prepare you for challenging conversations, in which you need to be confident and articulate.

By following these 4 tips on how to develop effective communication skills, everyone can become better at expressing themselves, listening to others, and getting their ideas across.

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Author: Amanda Knowles