There is an oft-quoted statistic that the words you say make up just seven percent of successful communication skills.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about them carefully. Here are three quick tips:
The art of listening
The first key to communicating well is to learn the art of listening.
This is really the art of good conversation – that you don’t just broadcast your views but engage in a conversation.
Listen to their questions. Ask good questions yourself, then listen and respond to their reactions and answers.
By listening carefully, you become more responsive to the messages, reactions and needs of the other person, so your words are more tailored to their needs.
Keep it simple
We would advocate always to remember the words of Einstein:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Avoid using jargon, long words and complicated sentences as all of these can make it difficult for the person you are talking to to understand you, and can alienate them, rather than connecting with them.
Imagine you are speaking to a 10-year-old child, or a maiden aunt and pitch your language and words at them. The Times newspaper is written at this level – so it is not a case of being overly simplistic or dumbing down. It is a case of being clear.
Use positive language
Using positive language reassures and instills confidence in your listener.
Words such as promise, commit, will, can and do all achieve this.
Using words such as like, aim, want, hope, wish and try, though aspirational, may sew doubts about your ability to deliver what you promise.
We offer bespoke courses on communication skills so contact us if you would like further help, on 020 8332 6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.