If you want to understand how to have better communication skills, you’ll love this article.
Building connections should all the time start with you, right? Not too.
People start conversations even when you do not show any interest. In fact, some people cannot catch the cues that tell them to leave because not everybody has a healthy level of emotional intelligence and sensitivity. Interesting conversations and relationships can occur between two people irrespective of how they started.
Someone with an interesting personality and interesting things to speak about can easily change their mind even if you do not like talking to them at first. When you change your mind, you may be the one who will be more interested in keeping the conversation going.
There are also times when the person initiating the conversation seems less interested than you are. In this case, you must keep the conversation going and satisfy your need for information.
For example, a special guest at a business conference starts the conversation out of politeness and a professional obligation. As a casual guest, you will likely benefit more from small talk, so you must do something to extend that and penetrate their personal space.
How To Have Better Communication Skills:
How can you make a good impression without really planning it, and how can you start a conversation in the most efficient way? Here are four communication strategies to guide you.
Have a Conversation Plan
Always have transitional topics and statements ready when you are talking to people you do not know very well to avoid awkward moments – those when both people seem to don’t have anything to say. It’s not like having a script; more like having a conversation outline. This is important when you’re about to enter into a crucial conversation.
Memorizing introductory lines can achieve success if you understand how to use them with a natural flow. Practicing them often can help. That said, it can be helpful if you only have topics you can speak about. Think of the acronym FORD, which stands for family, work, recreation and dreams.
This is a subject that almost all people will find interesting, which will make the conversation energetic, natural, and interesting. Depending on the personality of the person you are talking to, ask questions that will get them to answer honestly.
However, you must be sensitive. Don’t bring up the subject of family when the person is hot-tempered because common reasons why people become impetuous are family and money. Don’t bring up the subject of work when the person does not appear to have a gentle or high-paying job because it can embarrass them.
Transitional phrases, on the other hand, can avoid awkward conversations. Changing the subject or planning to cut the conversation short is like saying “I’m losing interest.” Sounds impolite, does not it? However, by using the right transitional phrases, changing and ending any conversation becomes natural and sounds fun.
The best transitional expressions are praise and affirmation of what someone just said. They can precede the question, or take the question as a compliment.
For example, a guy is getting information from a girl he finds attractive and he wants to move from the subject of vocation to his love life. The man could say, “You must be a better student than I am.
So I assume you are not in a relationship at the moment. If that seems too nosy, he can ask, “So how can a hard-working student still find time for relationships?” Someone who likes to answer with all honesty will correct or confirm it. It’s also easier to read between the lines based on her reaction to the guy’s statement.
Share a story
Interesting and interesting story. They tap into a person’s emotions, which makes any conversation more interesting and sincere. There are many instances when people aren’t genuinely interested in what you have to say but should still listen out of kindness. To spark their interest, share a moving story or anecdote that they might relate to.
Sharing stories is more like an unspoken rule in motivational talks and keynotes. This is a great way to break the ice, calm an agitated audience, and create sections in a long speech.
What if you’re just having normal schmoozing with strangers? Wouldn’t it be awkward to tell a story? If you have a natural flair for humor, telling anecdotes can work. What works even better is sharing your own story to impress or show vulnerability. Some people are attracted to accomplishments and credentials, but some people find them arrogant.
Likewise, some people trust real people who are not afraid to show their weaknesses, but some find them too familiar. You should gauge the other person’s personality before making your move.
Similarity is one of the strongest relationships between two people who communicate with each other regardless of the actual relationship they have. Finding anything in common by taking cues from information a person says (voluntarily and involuntarily), expressions, accent, looks, and gestures is the surest way to build a sense of camaraderie and a comfort level.
This will eventually develop into trust. You have to have keen eyes and ears to be spontaneous by deliberately finding common ground in conversation. You need to pick out the smallest and most fleeting details that sometimes speak more about a person’s personality.
Shared geographic origin is best determined by appearance, accent, and spoken information. It’s a great relationship builder especially if the common denominators are ethnicity (provided you’re in the minority), nationality and fond memories. Similarities based on interests and preferences are best determined by taking cues from verbal information, appearances, and gestures. Be careful with her eye movements as her eyes usually look for places that interest her.
Belonging to the same network also gives you the privilege of invading his personal space until he sends you a signal to stop or have a reservation. Networks or circles of like-minded people usually have an unspoken code that obliges its members to accommodate and to a certain degree, trust their associates. These networks include clubs, professional organizations, academic institutions, business organizations and political affiliations.
While positive similarities are attractive, many people are more easily influenced by negative similarities. Dislikes and negative opinions sometimes build instant trust because people who disagree usually seek approval of their decisions and preferences. They want to know if other people share their dislike, especially if that dislike is perceived to be contrary to popular opinion.
You don’t have to agree by heart if you know that your conversation doesn’t have to result in a personal or professional relationship. If you really don’t agree, at least help him to justify his own opinion without selling your beliefs. For example, saying that he hates sports while you can’t cause friction. No need to agree, but you can say “Hate exists in many people today, some of whom have valid reasons.”
Communicating with Your Ears
A balanced conversation is 50% talking and 50% listening. Healthy discourse is often about giving both parties enough time to talk and listen. However, not everyone who wants to strike up a conversation is looking for someone to talk to; many of them are looking for someone to talk to. What is the difference?
Someone who wants to talk to others encourages equal answers and opportunities to share their thoughts. That’s your cue to start the communication by answering back and making a good impression with your opinion.
On the other hand, a person who wants to talk to another person encourages listening because his main goal in starting a conversation is to simply get his point across and get his emotions out. This is your cue to initiate communication by demonstrating your intention to listen carefully and understand what the other person is saying.
You are encouraged to be vocal about your approval or disapproval, but make sure that you put the spotlight on the other person to gain their trust. Often, using non-verbal communication is sufficient. These cues include nodding, looking directly into their eyes, frowning, smiling, and laughing.
A study shows that in most job interviews, the interviewer speaks almost 80% of the time, which leaves the applicant with only 20% to make a good impression. It also means that most job applicants have a higher chance of winning a job by being good listeners than good talkers. Like speaking, listening leaves many clues about a person’s personality, such as patience, persistence, sincerity, and ability to understand and analyze.
These five strategies will help you communicate better with less words and do less.
Repeating Questions When Answering
Repeating what you’ve just been told word for word may sound sarcastic to you, but it works so effectively because it implies that you paid attention to what the other person just asked. That alone is a good gesture, one that makes you appear compassionate and genuinely interested in helping with the right answer.
This is a communication trick that works quite well when talking to a boss, answering questions in a business meeting or job interview, or having casual conversation with a significant other. It creates impact even when used in impromptu statements.
For example, when your boss asks, “Do you think we can finish all the reports before the day ends?” reply with “I’m sure we can finish all the reports before the day is over.” That answer is convincing because you used the same words that reflect his doubts.
It also helps to repeat the subject of each question when answering. For example, you could answer “My meeting with my new client went according to plan” when you are asked “How was your meeting with your new client?”
People always have the expected answer before they ask a question. This is the answer they want to hear until they finally feel relieved. By using the same words that appeal to them the most, you also instantly connect with them in a deeper way.
Repetition is a powerful technique for building rapport and gaining approval from others. You can even end a conversation using loops without anyone noticing. Like mimicking body language, it produces a hypnotic effect as you practically amplify someone’s opinions and emotions by surreptitiously sycophantic. You can’t use verbatim repetition in all of your statements, but you can execute it wisely when you also paraphrase and use only keywords.
Repetition makes conversation spontaneous for several reasons.
- First, repeating keywords that other people use says a lot about your sincerity to listen.
- Second, it strengthens other people’s confidence in sharing their opinion. Boost other people’s egos and you will surely receive the rewards, including their approval and trust.
- Thirdly, it clearly sets the course for the conversation. In this case, your goal is to steer the conversation in the direction he wants to go first. Allowing him to fulfill his goals before yours subconsciously obliges him to return the favor after.
All you need here are a good pair of ears and basic skills in paraphrasing. Mark in your mind all the keywords he uses while speaking. These are the words you should repeat when answering. They can be adjectives that describe his emotions. They can be the talk of the town. Those can be the first few phrases that show where the whole conversation is going.
For example, when he says “The stock market had a bad close yesterday, and I am very worried” you could say “Yes, the stock market had a really bad close yesterday, but I think the index drop is only temporary. .”
Looking for Instructions for Listening
These clues include facial expressions, gestures, postures, tones, and words. However, identifying these clues requires more than heightened vigilance; You need emotional predictability to determine what the other person really wants. You should understand by now that listening is occasionally louder than talking, but you must know when to listen.
Someone who seems really excited, angry, or sad possibly has far more to say than you. Pay attention to other people’s emotions (1) because they’re the ones who have so much to share. Likewise, let the person who appears to be having problems speak first, no matter how long or irrelevant to you. Waiting for him to open up is the best chance you have of earning his trust and then building rapport for stronger communication.
Gestures and postures indicating invitation and consolation are also common signs. This includes drooping shoulders, dropping chin, heavy breathing, and crossed arms.
The most evident sign is shown by a person’s tone and words. Rhetorical questions and questions presented as statements are generally just trying to find ears to enter. You can respond to these signs with short answers that encourage the person to keep talking.
Affective statements such as “Let me buy you coffee,” “I have nothing important to do,” and “Would you like to talk about it?” sometimes fill your half in the conversation. Ask encouraging questions like “What happened?” “Is there something wrong?” and “Are you all right?” also start deep conversations even amongst people who aren’t very close to one another.
Being a talker when the other person needs a listener will make a bad impression on you.
Encouraging Others to Talk About Themselves
One of the communication problems is the absence of openness from the other party. One quick way to get people to trust and open up to you is to ask them questions about themselves. Most people like to speak about themselves because it makes them proud and makes them admire.
Some people speak out of sheer pride but most speak because of the special emotions and connections they’ve for themselves, their accomplishments, their experiences, and their loved ones. Don’t you want to speak about something you have worked hard for? It’s the same for everybody.
Bring up the subject and show interest and excitement, whether it is genuine or not. Express admiration. It creates a personal connection between the two of you. Lend your ear is enough for them to offer their trust.
Make Communication Clearer
Communication isn’t just about sending and receiving messages. This also includes finding connections and eliminating confusion. Following these strategies will help you become a better communicator before you know it.
Imitating the Way Someone Else Talks
Mimicking tone of voice can come across as a tease, but doing it right while you continue the conversation subconsciously leads the other person to believe that there’s a genuine connection between the two of you. That connection makes verbal and non-verbal communication clearer.
Some neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) experts suggest that accents should even be imitated because geographic connections are generally very strong. However, this author discourages it because wearing a fake accent is so negative. Only imitate if you’re a really good copycat.
Mimicking should start with the volume level. Speak as softly as the other person does to avoid signs of aggression, but speak as loudly as he does to avoid intimidation. Moreover, matching tones show matching emotions while the same expressions show the same way of thinking.
Mimicking speech rates also makes others comfy because the brain automatically flags differences in speech rates as part of a defense mechanism. If possible, synchronize with his breathing as this has a hypnotic effect.
For example, your brain tends to warn you when someone talks to you very fast. Talking fast is normally related to sales talk and scams. On the other hand, slow speech gives you a bad impression because others may think you are stupid or have slow understanding.
Mimicking makes you an interesting conversationalist, but do not abruptly change phase or pitch of your voice or you will be suspected of manipulation (which you are essentially doing) or eccentricity. Someone who is already deeply engaged in conversation may no longer notice the changes you make to the way you speak.
Avoid Meaningless Fillers
“Ah,” “um,” and “like” are filler words in conversation and presentations that haven’t got any meaning. They make your statements vague and make you look amateur (better way to say stupid).
These little words may not bother you at all, but they do bother plenty of people, particularly critical communicators and those who like formal, clever conversation. You do not expect to say these words over and over and end up winning the biggest business deal of your life, do you?
Using meaningless fillers (2) is practically saying “I don’t know what to say” and “I’m not sure what I’m saying.” It bothers plenty of people, but what you should be concerned about is that it gets you more than you think. Regularly using it indicates your insecurity, anxiety, restlessness, uncertainty, nervousness, and to some degree, your intelligence.
Why do you use fillers? Usually, they come out naturally when you think of what to say. They create pauses that buy you time but interrupt the flow of your statement. Keep in mind that many people get a weaker understanding when distracted and distracted, but in reality that’s precisely what you do to them. Also, they show the emotions that you try to hide.
You may not realize it yet, but filler words generally only come out of your mouth during formal conversations and conversations with people who worry you, like your boss or college professor. Chances are you have already got a mind problem if you still use plenty of “ah” and “um” even in casual conversation with close friends or members of the family.
How do you stop using it?
- First, accept the problem and admit your flaws. You cannot consciously change this habit if you arrogantly deny it. Listen to yourself every time you speak so you will know the times when you generally use it.
- Second, relax your mind and body. Relax your shoulders, raise your arms where people can see them, and stand or sit up straight. You can hold something if it makes you comfy, but do not let it distract others.
- Third, stop often. The few seconds you take to say the filler can be used to pause. You can think without saying anything. There is power in pauses when combined with strong eye contact, relaxed arms and hands, and straight posture. Even motivational speakers and political leaders do it when delivering speeches.
- Fourth, slow down. You’ll have more time to consider what you want to say when you speak more slowly. It will also calm you down and make your breathing deeper.
- Finally, practice these tips repeatedly.
Use Appropriate Language, Tone, and Terms
Communication is not only about understanding words and body language. There is also an unstated harmony or agreement between two people conversing. This is what’s missing when you disagree with someone you do not like even although you know that what he says is true.
People are naturally drawn to someone who speaks in a way they’re familiar with. Doing otherwise will drive them away. It’s appropriate to maintain the formality of your voice when you are in a meeting because it is the lingua franca of the business world. However, when you try to speak to a group of unemployed and poverty-stricken people in a high and formal tone, they may find you condescending.
You haven’t got to adjust all the time, particularly when colloquialisms aren’t your thing. However, you must be sensitive to people’s level of understanding and preference because you may come across as too strong and contemptuous. Be careful about using jargon and idiomatic expressions, and your tone of voice. Don’t make people feel like you are superior when you are having a friendly conversation.