Effective communication is one trait found in all leaders. It comes with ones leadership qualities and personality to guide, to inspire and influence people. Effective communication is not only about oneself but focuses on others, gets rooted within people and create aspirations.
Effective communicators are skillful in changing people’s thoughts and actions. Communicators needs to be clear, precise and authentic to provide the meaning to message and works as intended. Along with common communication skills like expression, presence, deliver, grammar, etc, effective communicators possess the power, that can make people trust, meet expectations and make people believe in whatever he/she says. This skill is developed gradually as in-built personality and not learned in some training courses or academics.
How to Communicate Effectively?
After realizing the importance of effective communication, one needs to develop effective communication as all are not born with it. Some of us fear to speak up in crowd, stutter and forget what we have to say when it comes to communicating. Some of the step below can help eradicate these fears and help you communicate effectively.
Create right environment
What you say only matters if the timing and place is correct. Tiredness and stress can ruin your timing, so you should avoid evenings and stressful times. Check the acoustics and place before you start talking to decrease noise and distractions. You should keep your phone turned off while addressing a group or another individual. Keep any noise away and don’t let it ruin yours or any other person’s concentration. When distracted, people stop listening and only hear what you have to say. Keep cultural context in mind too. If you are stressed, in conflict or disturbed, try to converse in a quiet place.
Emotional intimacy with smiles and laughter
Be aware of emotions of other people as well as keep yours in check. Be empathetic towards others’ feelings. Create emotional situations and talk about yourself when possible. Make them laugh and smile. Use jokes or positive sarcasm to gain people’s trust. Connect with them so that they believe what you say and do as you say. You can even set propaganda this way as people will do as you say if they think you are a leader and a good person.
Medium and distractions
Choose your correct medium for your purpose. If you have to speak to a mass, you can use speakers and microphones. If a message has to be sent to people at long distance, you can use other methods like Skype. Calculate the role of medium to get maximum impact of your message. If you are not sure, you can ask which method is suitable for people who are going to be your audience. Choose appropriate medium with minimum distractions and disturbances.
Self Preparation to create clear and precise message
Prepare objectives, intent, purpose and themes of message beforehand if you have to speak for a mass or media. Make it short and simple so that your audience gets what you say. Having enough knowledge on the subject matter boosts confident and you;ll be able to speak about it with ease. You should also know who your target audience is, so that you can prepare better and work accordingly.
Deliver clearly and animatedly
Speak clearly, don’t mumble, as people tend to ignore the unclear speech. How you say it matters the most than what you say. Practice in front of mirror or someone you trust to help you control your nervousness and stammering. Try to have correct pronunciation and use good vocabulary so that the message is precise and particular. Don’t use words if you are not sure of its meaning or pronunciation. Speak slow so that people get what you are saying.
Body language, gestures and vocal tones
The best thing you can do during interacting to an audience or any individual is eye contact as it builds trust and shows your confidence. Notice body language and other non-verbal communications of the other person and be aware of yours too. Different actions take different symbolic meanings. Having good gestures can enforce message better. Vocal tones also must be friendly, acceptable and confirming to the people who you are talking to.
Be assertive but not narcissist or pretentious
You should try to make communication as assertive as you can to have effective communication. You should try to express what you feel, need and think directly in an honest manner. You should not be aggressive or demanding while doing it and being respectful in all ways. You should not only keep talking about yourself, be narcissist and self-centered. let other communicators keep their points. You should provide reasonable explanations and justifications to keep your point across. You should also learn to say “no” if situations arise.
Ask questions, listen, notice, understand, pay attention and don’t talk
Look and listen to everything. Notice what and how the other person is speaking. Communication is only effective as long as all people interacting share. You, as one of the communicator, have to pay attention, only talk within the topic and have an influence on people with it. You have to make the conversation meaningful by making it engaging and asking questions. It is better to talk as less as possible.
Tell stories and use other means
Stories are the most powerful tool that can be used to influence and persuade people. They make other people connect to your emotions and include you. Stories can be emotional, tragic or humorous. They do not let people get bored, reduces stress and brightens the environment. Similarly, you can also use other means to make your communication effective like use of presentations, group activities, videos, other multimedia, and other appropriate medium that makes what you say understandable and effective.
Be visible and lead
You influence people if you are visible. Let people know who you are with your appearance along with words. When people see you, know you exist in real, feel a personal connection with you and know you are working for them, then they find you appealing and do as you say. Be a leader, know that you can but don’t over-do. Even if everybody interacting as a group is taken to be in the same position, you take yourself as someone who is better than everybody and takes risks as a leader.
Effective communication has information, intention and reason unlike non-effective communication. The message is clear, specific, accurate and well-reasoned be it verbal or non-verbal. So, make the best use of the opportunities that can make people take you as a leader, charismatic and prominent person through effective. Let your audience receive and take home something new provided by your effective communication.