Monday, November 08, 2010

Improve Your Communication Skills

People practice endlessly their verbal and non-verbal communication skills. They learn proper sentence structures and new words daily. They go through the non-verbal actions, observing their facial expressions and body movements. It doesn't matter what is being said as long as their movements are properly orchestrated. This attitude may backfire. Your movements and responses reflect the amount of awareness you gave to the ongoing conversation.

If you don't listen attentively, you may be saying asinine comments or your body movements might not be appropriate to the subject matter. For example, if people were showing remorse for the lives lost in a war, it would not be proper to smile or act smug. Proper attitudes and brilliant remarks can be achieved by listening well to the discussions.

Here are some tips to help improve your listening prowess.

Start listening and not hearing

You can hear people talking but until you learn to listen, you will not understand what is being discussed. Listening involves focusing your attention to the speakers, understanding what they are saying and responding appropriately at the right time. There are times the subject matter may be boring to you. However, the speaker may be enthusiastically interested on the topic. You should pay attention to them out of courtesy if not for anything else. Try to find a way to excuse yourself later but for the meantime, listen well and be attentive.

Aside from verbal communication

Make sure that your actions reflect your undivided attention to the speaker. It would be rude if you start looking around or doing other things while the person is talking to you. Non-verbal communication can bring home the message more effectively than talking. Be careful of your actions and avoid distractions.

If you have pending appointments

Explain to the person why you need to cut short the conversation and set another time and place to continue the discussions. If the person feels an urgency regarding the matter and insists on talking, try to get to the gist of the matter and possibly provide some suggestions which may help the person. Mention that you'll think of other options which you can discuss with him at a later time. Don't suggest a date or time too far in the future.

Don't presume what the person will say and cut them off

Let them speak. Don't argue with them. Each person should be allowed to voice their thoughts and opinions. Be objective and professional. Explain to the person whether your comments are based on fact or speculations. Sometimes arguments ensue based on hearsay or suppositions and this can lead to destructive conversations and endanger any harmonious relationship you may have with the other persons.

After having listened to the person

Reiterate what was said to make sure that it was understood correctly. Seek clarifications on vague statements. If you are not familiar with the subject matter, tell them at the soonest possible time without rudely interrupting them. Everyone will appreciate your candor. A good listener greatly helps in becoming a good communicator.

About The Author
Colin Burton strives to help others improve their lives through the supply of good informative self-improvement information. FREE download copy of Think And Grow Rich at

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