People who are good communicators get things done. They accomplish more and they inspire others. These people waste less time fixing mistakes or dealing with delays. Why? Because they know how to communicate.
These communicators may have a natural talent or they may have hired a good business speech coach. Regardless, they have learned the skills necessary to get their message across. How do you know if you are an effective communicator?
1. People trust you.
A person who communicates well is trusted. Even if the message isn’t one they want to hear, they trust its truth. They trust the person is being honest, someone they can rely on. If people follow you into new or unpleasant territory and listen to your instructions, you know you have communicated effectively with them.
2. You initiate conversation.
Communication isn’t just a speech or a one-way conversation. Instead, it is two or five or ten people talking, each one with something to say. To know if you are a good communicator, you must be a good conversationalist. To determine if this is the case, listen to yourself speak. Do you ask questions? If you ask questions when you talk to others, it implies that you value their input.
Someone who communicates effectively understands that communicating is not just talking but listening. They listen to what others have to say, and then think on it to incorporate those ideas into their own. This teaches other people that they have worth and their opinions and views have value, so they are more likely to listen to the person.
3. The focus is on simplicity.
Many people think that communicating means being able to express complex concepts to people under their leadership. However, the best way to speak to staff members or others is by keeping it simple. People trust what they understand, so it’s important to speak their language. A straightforward message will go further than one that is too complicated.
4. Be tactful.
A person who is effective at communicating gets people to listen to what they have to say. One way to defeat that purpose is by saying things in a tactless or arrogant way. Be sensitive to using words and phrases that provide a positive perception.
5. Don’t be afraid of emotions.
A person who can communicate well with others doesn’t discount emotions. It’s not just about what they say, but how they say it and how others hear it. They take into account how their words will impact others, and make their delivery based on that information. The person may be excited about changes coming to the department, but they also understand that others may be fearful. So, rather than being overly enthusiast, they take the time to dispel fears and concerns.
Being an effective communicator means more than just being able to talk to others. You must think about how you present your message, when, and why. You must think of the listeners to ensure they not only hear your words, but understand your meaning and follow up with the right response.
Claudette Roche is a dialect coach in the Vero Beach, FL area. She teaches foreign and American accents to actors and business persons/executives. In 2010 she was named as one of The Top 5 Voice Coaches by Hollywood Weekly Magazine.