Effective communication is an indispensable tool in becoming a well-rounded employee. It is also one of the soft skills that many hiring managers and recruiters look for when assessing potential candidates for job positions. Leaders and managers are expected to be skilled communicators because they can and will be called, at any given moment, to speak to various groups of people about news and developments concerning the company.
If you desire to stand out in your workplace, it is recommended that you constantly brush up on your communication skills. Recognise that this is a core competence you will have to build as you ascend the ranks. The greater the position and responsibilities, the greater the level of skill in communication is required.
Establish the foundation today with these six smart techniques on how to become an effective and persuasive communicator who can build a strong connection with your audience.
1) Know Your Audience
Communicating well primarily means knowing who your audience is. Do research on your audience before your discussion to discover their goals and priorities. This will set the tone of the discussion and enable you to craft your message for maximum impact. Use the best approach that will make them feel welcome and open to your ideas.
2) Know the Objective
Have a very firm idea of the objectives of the discussion before you enter the room. Is it to clarify an issue that they have raised? Or is it to secure their support for a important project? Always have your objectives in mind and lead your conversation to them. Be sensitive not just to the other party’s words, but also to their body language and non-verbal cues. These will indicate how close you are to reaching your objectives.
3) Know How to Listen
Many would-be communicators fail because they do not give the other party enough time and space to convey their thoughts. Listening allows you to win half the battle, as you will learn a lot more about the other party, including their motivations and apprehensions, and address them if necessary.
4) Know the Context
You must have a solid understanding of your audience’s situation in order to communicate effectively and provide a unique solution to their concerns. For example, you may be aware that your potential client’s goal is to increase his sales. Go a step further and understand his business environment. If he is a marketing manager who has been challenged by his boss to create more effective online campaigns, you could suggest a social media tool developed by your company to better track engagements.
5) Know How to Ask
Asking questions will show the other party that you are genuinely interested in their thoughts, ideas and situation. These questions should also be asked at the right time; for instance, after they have finished their explanation.
6) Know How to Empathise
The other party might not remember your exact words after a discussion, but how you have said them will leave an impression. Your ability to relate to the other party will make them feel that you understand them and are sincerely concerned about their well-being; hence, they will be more likely to trust you with their greater plans.
Show your empathy through careful choice of words that respect their culture, company, job position, and personhood. Read their body language and respond appropriately. Consider building a bond on shared interests and experiences.
Communication is the first step in building good relationships and alliances in the corporate world, and it can also help to facilitate excellent teamwork and contribute to a project’s success. Effective communication cannot be learned overnight; however, by practising these six techniques every day, you will realise that your audience will begin to respond more positively to you, allowing you to meet your objectives.
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