Becoming a more confident communicator is all about building good habits. Think about brushing your teeth. That’s a habit we learn at a very early age, and over time, it’s something we do without thinking every day. That’s the type of habit you want to develop as you become a more skilled and confident communicator.
Here are three of the habits you can start with. You will find that when you make these part of your daily routine, it will make a huge difference.
Start Your Day Well
What are the morning habits that set you up for success for the day?
Try one of these:
- Start your day with gratitude. Think of 5 things you are thankful for first thing in the morning.
- Set your intentions for the day – what do you want to do and how will you do it?
- Breathe and be aware of your surroundings.
- Be nice to everyone you see (this can be a challenge for the non-morning person). Go out of your way to say please and thank you, and do your best to look up, look people in the eye, and greet everyone you see.
Shovel Some Piles
Take care of the difficult things first.
- Think about what conversations you need to have with someone before a situation gets worse.
- Get in the habit of taking care of issues as they arise. Don’t wait for them to become a bigger issue. When something happens, deal with it!
Listen to Understand First
The number one communication challenge we all face is not listening well.
Make it your habit to:
- Pause before you speak.
- Listen with the intent to hear rather than practicing your reply.
- Use active listening skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, and asking clarifying questions.
Start with simple changes (one at a time) and practice those repeatedly. You’ll build some healthy communication skills and habits that will make you a more confident communicator.
Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach, and expert in workplace communications. She is the author of two books on communication, and a newly published journal, Intentional Gratitude.
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