Communication skills are among those that we learn at very early childhood. At the same time, for many people, it is one of the most difficult skills that need enhancing during their whole life.

Why some people are able to find common ground and gain the trust of complete strangers with remarkable ease in a matter of minutes, while others find it difficult to get along even with the members of their family?

Why is someone who doesn’t seem to have any special talents considered to be an “exceptionally nice person”, while someone smart and talented isn’t liked by anyone? The answer is simple: These people have different communication skills.

An effective but easy way to improve your communication skills can be expressed with a single phrase: be a good listener.

Although it sounds quite banal and unpretentious, yet, for many people, it is not so easy to follow this advice. The ability to listen is not just closing your mouth so that the other person inserts a few sentences. You really should listen carefully and be interested in what others say.

This will not only help you win over anyone but is also a great way to show respect to other people. When people feel such an attitude from you, it immediately changes the atmosphere of your relationship.

Just think about how great you feel when someone is listening to you attentively while you are enthusiastically talking about something very important for you.

All people just want to be heard, and by giving them this opportunity, you subconsciously win their fondness. The key is to be genuine: follow the story, ask clarifying questions, and react to key moments.

Sometimes it is not so easy, especially if the other person does not possess oratory skills. Well, if you want to win the trust of a person, you have to put in some effort.

In addition to listening, you may need a few more tips to improve your communication skills.

1. Never interrupt the other person

This indicates a lack of respect. Interrupting someone is just like saying: “I do not care about what you say, what I have to say is much more important.” If you are feeling a strong urge to say something while the other person is speaking, then at least apologize for interrupting them.

2. Never finish another person’s sentence

Yes, sometimes one wants to help the other person express their thought. In fact, by doing this, you basically show your impatience and doubts about their intellectual capabilities. So it is better to be patient and bite your tongue in such moments.

3. Listen actively

As noted above, being an active listener has particular importance. Show your interest in the story you are listening to and respond with comments and remarks when necessary.

4. Paraphrase

If you want to show that you truly understand the person you are talking to, simply repeat their key idea. Before agreeing or disagreeing with anything, just show your understanding of what you just heard. If you don’t agree with them, this can also save you from an unnecessary argument in case if you misunderstood what they had said.

Probably most misunderstandings in the world come from the fact that people think one thing, say another, and their listeners understand something entirely different.

5. Maintain eye contact

Do not distract your attention and focus on the person you are speaking to. Looking at the other person in the eye is like telling them that you are interested in them and their story. But don’t exaggerate it either – a too prolonged eye contact may look intrusive and make them feel uncomfortable.

Everyone can master these communication skills. All it takes is to be authentic and open for communication and understanding.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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the power of misfits

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Kawa

    These will work well for some people no doubt, but let’s not forget that not every culture is the same around the world. When I studied French one of the most distinguishing points between them and Americans was how the French appreciate interruption in conversations because it shows that the other person is not only listening but is engaged (watch their political debates in comparison to American political debates). In cultures such as Japan where respect to superiority is important, eye contact is not appropriate. I think one of the first steps to good communication is, if possible, to understand the values of the other person. Then perhaps there can be a common ground in respecting the way in which they communicate.

    Suggested Reading: Cosmopolitanism by Kwame Anthony Appiah

  2. Avatar
    Pinky Poinker

    Aah You have comments at last! I really liked this post. Everyone should read it 🙂

  3. Avatar
    Nicola Cantafora

    Very helpful post to Improve Communication Skills.

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