So how do we do that?
It’s one thing to know we need to communicate better, and it’s another to know what to do differently to make that happen.
So, I’ve put together three of my best tips to help you raise your communication IQ and improve your communication skills.
1. Be aware of yourself.
It’s easy to spot what we don’t like about how others communicate, but we aren’t always good at knowing how we are coming across. Ask for feedback. And, then pay attention and make some changes. Know what your hot buttons are and how you react, before they are pushed.
2. Not everything is under your control.
We all convey messages that we don’t intend. And other people can interpret our messages in unexpected ways. Be prepared for not being perfect, because, well, you aren’t. Check on whether you are being understood clearly by others and then follow-up — do what you need to do to make it right.
3. Misunderstandings happen.
Be prepared not to avoid, but rather to address issues sooner rather than later. The longer damaging or uncomfortable things are left unspoken, the longer they remain damaging and uncomfortable. Have the conversation you need to have sooner rather than later.
If you work on just these three things, I promise you that you will see your communication skills improve dramatically.
What’s your favorite communication tip?
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home.