03 Nov Communication – 10 Strategies You Need To Stand Out
We all need to to interact with others for the world to go around. We’re not living alone on an island. Figuring out how to interact with others to get a point across, to move a deal forward, to have a review, and to talk with a child’s teacher on what’s going on in class is key to effective communication.
Communicating to be the best we can be involves knowledge, effort, thought, and practice. Yes, some people are naturally better than others, and this means that you can learn to be a better communicator.
It doesn’t matter what you do or where you come from, your level in your business, your background, or your age. The skills for engaging with someone one-on-one in an interview, meeting, or big audience are skills that may be developed. Every leader needs to know how to communicate better.
Effective communication sounds simple. It’s not necessarily intuitive, and it’s one of the most important pieces to connection, progress, and meeting KPIs.
- Connect emotionally to your friend, your colleague, your people. Do what it takes to understand what is at stake. Really listen, and consider giving back more than you’d normally give to ensure both parties are understood. For example, repeat back a version of what was spoken to you, and encourage the other person to do the same. It may be surprising how additional information needs to be clarified on both sides when you do this.
- Speak in a way that people will listen. Be kind. Be direct. Remember that people are human, and they want an open and understanding human to be on the other side of the conversation. Business is about people, so make yourself known as someone who cares.
- Speak as if you are speaking to someone one-on-one. This goes for your people, your following, and it even applies to that keynote. Visualize the ideal colleague, customer, and employee you are trying to reach like a trusted friend. Professional language and common culture work best together when you think about the person on the receiving end.
- Communicate concisely. As humans, we can only digest so much information. Trying to pack too much into one communication runs the risk of losing your audience. This applies as much to a team meeting as it does keynote.
- Condense communication in 3 main points. Use the fewest ideas possible that make sense for what you are trying to say. As humans, we can only digest so much information. Keep the main points clear. Bring them forth with different examples and from different angles so that your message is memorable.
- Let your audience know something about you. Vulnerability encourages trust if done authentically. Use real examples from your life and your work. People need to relate to your experience to connect in a meaningful way.
- Talk about what you know, and stay true to your subject matter. If you have personal experience on a subject. Elaborate on what you most know about. Do your research ahead of time on areas that you need more knowledge or bring an expert to the table if you’re communicating in a wider context.
- Keep your movements fluid. Body language tells your audience a lot. Move in a way that makes sense to you. If you are speaking with your partner or in front of a crowd, the classic posture of closing your arms across your chest for example, really does make other people feel like you’re holding something back or it can come across as anger or that you aren’t open for the other person to be listened to and heard. Body language says a lot not only how you think, but how you receive thoughts, ideas, and feedback. If you naturally close your body up when you speak, practice more open movements whenever possible.
- Test. Test and adjust your communication language, style, and reception again and again. Adjust your dialog according to the responsiveness of your audience. Your audience will tell you by their own body language and feedback how you are being interpreted. For instance, if you tell a joke and there’s no laughter, you know to adjust it or take it out for next time!
- Don’t forget to have fun! Crack a joke. Smile. Laugh. If communicating is only a bunch of rules, you won’t come across as you — and you won’t have fun. Part of speaking, teaching, listening, and conversing is doing so with someone else. Follow some of these tips, and don’t forget people want to laugh with you. They want to interact and have fun. Ensure your personality comes through, and enjoy it.
Communiction – what works best for you?
As you master these strategies, you’ll find out what works best for you. To stand out in the mind of your audience, be succinct. Authentic communication works best. Have fun and build your skills as you go. We’re all building better skills over time.
Where you communicate and with whom you communicate with will vary. What works for you at home vs. the workplace? What do you think are the most important components of communicating well? Please share your ideas and leave me a comment or send me an email. I learn from you just as you learn from me.