Do you achieve the desired impact when communicating with others? Communication skills are often taken for granted because we communicate with others every day. We think we have good communication skills because we aim to communicate our message effectively and listen to the other person. But is good intention enough? Successful communication is when both parties 1) have been able to express their point of view, 2) have felt an openness to the other’s opinion, and 3) have truly understood the other’s need.
Here are 5 questions to assess your communication skills:
- Do you ever multi-task when you have a conversation with someone? For example, answering emails.
- Do you ever think that when you assign a project or task to someone else, you have nothing to gain from the experience?
- Do you ever describe how the other person feels when you ask questions? Example: Were you angry when it happened?
- When someone shares their experience with you, do you ever respond by talking about the similar experience you had first, rather than asking questions to understand theirs?
- Do you sometimes repeat the same thing over and over to make sure the other person fully understands, rather than asking them what they remember from your conversation?
6 tips to develop your communication skills
If you answered yes to a number of questions, you should try these few tips to ensure the efficiency and commitment of your employees and promote a mobilizing work climate.
- Focus your attention. Give 100% of your attention to your conversation with the other person. Forget multitasking.
- Listen for the sole purpose of understanding. You will answer when it is your turn and your answer will be more relevant if you really listened, rather than if you thought about it while the other was talking.
- Question openly. Take an interest in the other person and let them describe their point of view and their emotions.
- Validate your understanding before the other person does. Make sure you understand before you are understood.
- Leave with the intention to learn. Any conversation will teach you something if you are receptive to it.
- Prioritize the connection with the other. Don’t role-play. Just be yourself.
Have a good conversation!