Are You Communicating Effectively?

Communication skills are some of the most important skills you need in life and in the workplace. We are constantly communicating face-to-face, through email, on the phone, text messages, through hand-written letters, and by social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In our fast-paced day-to-day routine, communicating effectively can easily be forgotten. But having effective communication skills will help improve your business and relationships. Take a look at a few of my communication tips.

1. Be patient and attentive.
When communicating face-to-face, listen without fully focusing on formulating your response. There’s a difference between listening and hearing, and when it comes to effective communication, listening will help you understand the conversation better.

2. Be open to new ideas and change.

Not everyone will have your point of view and your point of view will not always be the best. Be open to hear what others have to say. Listen to and consider your employees’ suggestions. Innovative thinking can fuel your company to bigger and better things if you are open to change.

3. Consider cultural and intellectual differences, and consider other perspectives.
We all have our own unique backgrounds and perspectives, and sometimes communication is a little harder than we expect. For example, not everyone I talk to understands asset-based lending and accounts receivable factoring just like I’m not an expert in botany. Back to being patient, explain terminology and industry trends when needed and understand others’ differences to communicate your ideas more effectively.

4. Always clarify.
It doesn’t hurt to check twice to make sure all parties are on the same page. Sometimes it may seem like you’re repeating yourself, but verifying what you heard or read and clarifying the key points with the person you are communicating will help you and your business and help save you time in the long run.

5. Use graphs and illustrations to share your ideas.
Some of us are visual learners and some, like me, like to map out ideas on paper or dry erase boards. Communicating your ideas visually may help others better understand or process your ideas. For example, below is a flowchart illustrating the Communications Process.

What helps you be an effective communicator? Are there any tips you would add?

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