In the workforce, one of the most important things we need to be constantly working on is bettering our communication. This entails both listening and making sure that you are being correctly heard. A company cannot run without streamlined communication as it’s the foundation of success. Whether you are in a management role, or you are an employee, it is important to hone in on your communication and listening skills.
A lot of people in the work place make the mistake by thinking that respect is the key ingredient to being heard. While that is a good thing to have from your employees, it's not the only thing needed. Here are some tools for anyone in the workforce to ensure that they are being heard:
- Get out of your own way: This is the most important tool. Most people don’t know that they are their own road block in regards to better listening and communicating. Confidence is a great skill when trying to get your point across. A lack of confidence will create confusion and misunderstanding between you and the people you are trying to reach. Believe in what you are saying and focus on the people you are talking to. Backing yourself up with confidence is the best way for your listeners to focus on your communication points.
- Slow down: When addressing a group, it is important to slow down your speed of communication. Give yourself enough time to be heard by your listeners, and also to hear yourself. When you speak, it is just as important to listen to what you are saying and hear yourself as it is like your audience is hearing you. Are you being direct? Are you cutting to the chase? Both of those questions are important to think about when addressing a group of people.
- Read the room: One of the most common pieces of advice when communicating is "learn how to read the room." Knowing your audience is a key factor to being heard. There are many generic tips like, “Read the room. Read the crowd. Gauge the audience. Watch the body language.” When we read the room, we’re looking for sensory cues which help us to understand how our audience is feeling and then we are better able to tailor our conversations.
- Be concise: Communication in the work place needs to be as concise as possible. People have work to get done, deadlines to meet, and a lunch break that they want to take. When speaking, make sure you know the points that you want to get across and do so within your first two sentences. If you talk in circles or a round about way, people tend to zone out and miss details.
Let's face it, we can all work on our listening and communication skills. As we get ready for the New Year let's all make it our choice to be more aware of ourselves as we listen and communicate. Happy Holidays!!