Effective communication is one of the most important life skills that we can develop in ourselves, but many of us usually do not make enough effort to do this. If you want to become more sociable and better understand the people around you, some important tips will help you to increase the effectiveness of communication.
10 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
1. Control your body language
You want to show your interlocutor that you are open for discussion, but at the same time, your hands intersect. You say that you are listening, but constantly cast your eyes on the phone screen.
Our non-verbal signals often show more than we think. No matter how well you can make eye contact or how you behave during communication, do not forget that you constantly communicate, even when you do not say a word.
What are some ways to influence your body for more effective communication? Take a powerful position if you need to increase your confidence before a serious conversation. Smile if you want to show your openness and friendly attitude. Learn to read other people’s body language so that you can communicate in the best possible way.
2. Get rid of unnecessary words
“Uh” and “Um” don’t do anything that can improve your speech or everyday conversations. Eliminate them from your vocabulary to be more convincing and feel more confident. One way to get rid of parasite words is to start tracking when you pronounce words like “This is the most” or “In short.”
You can also take your hands out of your pockets or just relax and pause before speaking. Pauses in a conversation will seem uncomfortable more for you than for other people.
3. Planning conversation
The conversation is an art that few people have mastered.
To fill possible breaks in the communication process, especially when dealing with people you barely know, make a plan of communication. To the best themes that will help to eliminate awkward silence during a conversation should include everything associated with family and leisure time, activities, and goals and dreams.
You will definitely establish a common language with another person if you talk about what is interesting to him.
4. Tell an interesting story
Stories have a huge impact. They activate our brain, make communication more intense, vibrant and interesting, and us more convincing.
A personal story told can help with interviews.
5. Ask questions and check the words of the interlocutor
By asking questions and repeating the last few words of another person, you show interest in what he is saying, and this will also allow you to clarify points that may be misunderstood (for example, “Are you going to buy tickets for the Saturday match? Did I understand you correctly? ”).
It also helps develop the conversation and fill in awkward pauses. Instead of trying to talk about the weather, ask questions (for example, “Are there any plans for the summer?” Or “What are you reading recently?”). Be sure to discuss the answers as it is more important to be interested than to seem interesting.
6. Eliminate distractions
It’s pretty unethical to dig into the phone when someone is talking to you.
You will not be able to get rid of all gadgets and technology but to put aside all those distracting stuff at the time of the communication, should not be too difficult for you.
7. Adapt to listener
The best speakers change the communication style depending on who they’re talking to.
You probably would use a different style of communication with colleagues or your boss compared to how you talk with your close friends, children or parents.
Always try to take into account the features of the other person when trying to convey information.
8. Be concise
For example, to correct spelling of text message use the following structure: “Prehistory”, “Reason”, “Information”, “Completing”, “outputting (request feedback)”.
Information disclosed must be specific, consistent, complete, and optimal, as well as ethical.
9. Put yourself in the place of the interlocutor
Communication resembles a two-way street. If you have an opposite point of view, you can reduce stress during a conversation if you understand why the other person thinks differently.
For example, you should not prove anything to your interlocutor if he is too tired to conduct a conversation.
The development of empathy (empathy) helps to better understand the communication process, as well as increase the effectiveness of communication.
10. Listen and listen again
The best you can do to develop your communication skills is to learn to listen to other people.
Focus your attention on the person you are talking to and let him speak without interrupting him. In reality, this is not so easy, but effective communication is a combination of spoken words that are intertwined with the ability to sincerely listen to another person. If you are not deprived of such a quality, the other person will most likely also listen to you carefully.
Why is it so important to become sociable
The ability to establish contact and develop relationships with other people has a strong positive impact on your entire life. No matter whether you want to have a personal relationship or want to improve the efficiency of business communication, it is important for you to know how to become sociable.
Communication skills are the key to the construction and development of friendly relations, the establishment of a strong network of social support. Communication skills help you to achieve this goal without impairing the values of other people.
People who do not have experience in effective communication do not know how to behave properly in various situations in the process of communication. Some of us have the necessary skills, but they lack the confidence to use them. In any case, by practicing, you will increase your confidence and improve communication skills.
Build your confidence by interacting with other people. Develop communication skills that will increase the ability to build successful relationships.
A person is not born with the experience of effective communication. Like any other skill, it is practiced through trial and error, as well as repetition in practice.
How to become sociable
3 areas of communication that you need to develop
- Non-verbal communication (body language).
- Verbal communication (spoken skill).
Nonverbal communication is a huge part in the communication process. What you say to people with your eyes or your body language has as much impact as what you say with words.
When you feel the excitement, you behave accordingly. For example, you can avoid eye contact or speak very softly.
In other words, you are trying to limit the communication to the interlocutor did not give your behavior negatively.
However, your body language and tone of voice convey a clear message about the following aspects:
- Emotional state (impatience, fear).
- With respect to the other party (obedience, contempt).
- Knowledge of the topic of communication.
How to improve nonverbal communication skills
Step 1. Problem determination
To start, ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I have trouble maintaining eye contact while talking with others?
- Am I smiling too much due to nervousness or too little?
- Am I slouching?
- Do I keep my head straight?
- Am I speaking in a timid voice?
- Am I talking too fast when I’m worried?
- Am I crossing my arms or legs?
Important components of nonverbal communication to which you should pay attention to include:
- Pose (head raised up, body tilted forward).
- Movement and gestures (crossed arms).
- Physical distance (being closer or farther when talking with others).
- Eye contact (look into the eyes or look away).
- Facial expression (smile, stony expression).
- Tone of voice (speech sounds loud or quiet).
- Confidence in the voice (no comment).
Step 2. Experiment with non-verbal skills and practice them
Try to practice only one skill at a time. After you are sure to master it, you can proceed to the next.
You can ask a close friend or relative to describe your non-verbal behavior. The feedback received can be very useful, because we do not know exactly how others perceive us.
Once you have identified the problem areas, change your behavior. You can practice your new non-verbal skills while standing in front of the mirror.
After you get the results of the practice at home, start applying new skills in real communication with other people. A good idea is to start small by talking, for example, with sellers in stores.
Try to increase the intensity of eye contact during the conversation. Observe your actions and pay attention to the reactions of others. For example, is your interlocutor more friendly or more talkative when you use more eye contact and smile more?
If you want to learn how to become sociable, then one of the biggest problems for you will be the beginning of the conversation and its retention.
It’s normal that you talk a little because it’s not always easy to think about interesting things and at the same time talk about them. This is especially true when you are worried.
On the other hand, some excited people say too much, which is also not a standard of communication.
How to improve verbal communication skills
Step 1. Problem determination
Below are questions you can ask yourself to identify the areas on which you need to work:
- Do I have a problem with the conversation?
- Am I quickly stop talking?
- Can I just say “Yes” or “No”, and try to get other people to keep in touch so I don’t speak for myself?
- I don’t want to talk about yourself?
Tips to start the conversation
- Start a conversation by saying something General and not too personal, for example, talk about the weather (“beautiful day, isn’t it?”).
- Tell me a compliment (“that sweater looks great on you”).
- Take an observation (“I noticed that you read a book on sailing, do you have a boat?”).
To become sociable, you do not have to seem witty. Try to be sincere, be yourself.
Sometime after the start of the conversation, especially if you were already a little familiar with the interlocutor, it will be advisable to move on to more personal topics, for example, relationships, family values, goals and beliefs.
Don’t forget to pay attention to your non-verbal behavior – look in the eyes and speak loudly so that others can hear you without asking again about what you said.
Tips on how to have a conversation
Remember that a conversation is not a solo, but a duet. In the process of communication, do not say too little or too much. Try to talk, allowing your interlocutor to speak out, while modest silence will not do you any good either.
Disclose information about yourself, such as your leisure time, your favorite football team, your hobbies and interests. Personal information should not be “too personal”. You can start by expressing your opinion about the things you like.
Ask questions about your interlocutor. If you met him just now, try not to touch on very personal topics.
Try to ask open and not closed questions.
A closed-ended question is a question answered in one or two words, for example, “Yes” or “No”: “Do you like your work?”. An open-ended question suggests a much more detailed answer, for example, “How did you get this job?”
To understand how to become sociable, don’t forget that people usually like to talk about themselves, especially if the other person shows genuine interest in it.
Tips for ending a conversation
Any conversation ends sooner or later, so it makes sense to prepare for its completion.
To cease communication, you can say that you need to take something to drink, to find a friend at the party, to return to work or you can promise to continue the conversation later (for example, “I hope we will have the opportunity again to talk” or “See you soon”).
Step 2. Experiment and practice verbal communication
Next time when you’re with someone to communicate, try to break some of your habitual patterns of communication. If you tend not to talk about yourself, try to share their thoughts and experiences, and see what happens. If you are accustomed to waiting until another person finishes talking, try to complete it on their own initiative.
Below are some practical recommendations:
- Talk to the stranger at the bus stop, in the elevator or in line at the store.
- Talk to your neighbors about the weather or about what is happening in your area.
- Interact with colleagues. Communicate on a positive wave with his colleagues during lunch break.
- Make new friends and develop friendships with people you know. Invite a colleague or acquaintance to meet over a cup of coffee or invite a relative whom they have not seen for a long time to his birthday.
- Compliment girls and more. Make a commitment to give at least two compliments every day, preferably those words that you didn’t usually say. Don’t forget to always be sincere, for this, give a compliment to someone who, in your opinion, deserves it.
How to become sociable? Become sure.
Confidence in the process of communication is a sincere expression of one’s own views, desires and emotions, which causes respect for them from the interlocutor.
When you speak confidently, your communication style is not condemned, and you are responsible for your own actions.
If you depend on the opinions of others, you may have difficulty expressing your thoughts and emotions openly.
Confidence skills can become difficult to master, especially if being confident for you means that you are not behaving as you normally do. Perhaps you are afraid of conflicts in the process of communication, you always agree with the views of people around you, and also avoid expressing your own opinion.
As a result of this behavior, you must have developed a passive communication style. Instead, you can seek to control and dominate others by developing strong communication skills.
Confident bedside manner carries with it many benefits. It will help you to relate to others more genuinely, will reduce the level of anxiety and resentment. In the end, you get more control over your life and reduce the number of circumstances that do not depend on you.
Confidence is an acquired skill, not a personality trait in which you are born. Confidence is not part of your essence, because it arises as a result of the required actions, practices and discipline.
Step 1. Problem determination
For starters, ask yourself the following questions to determine what direction you need to work:
- Am I asking what I want?
- Is it difficult for me to express my opinion?
- How easy can I say no?
How to become confident in dealing
It is difficult for many people to ask what they need, feeling that they have no right to ask or are afraid of the consequences of the question. You may think: “What if he says no?”, Or “She will think that I am rude and ill-mannered.”
When you ask something, it will be useful to start by expressing your understanding of the problem of another person. For example, “I know that you’ve been very busy lately.”
Then tell us about the essence of your question and how you relate to it. For example, “This presentation is due to appear next Friday, and I am very worried that it will not be ready on time.”
It is important to talk about your feelings and not blame others. For example, it is better to say: “I am offended when you are late for a meeting with me” than: “You are always late! You don’t care about me! ”
Then describe what you want from the interlocutor. Be as concise and positive as possible. For example, “I would really like to understand how we can expedite our project.”
Finally, tell your interlocutor what he will receive in return if your request is granted. For example, “I would try to help create slides for the presentation next week.”
Many people have problems expressing their views openly. Perhaps you are waiting for others to express their opinions first, and only then share yours if both opinions coincide.
To be sure it means to be ready to express your opinion, even if others don’t or your opinion is different from the views of others.
At the same time, confidence means the ability to accept new information and change your mind. However, this does not mean that you change your mind, because others think differently.
How to learn to say “No”
Saying “No” can be difficult if you are not confident enough. However, if you cannot say “No” to other people, you will not be able to bear responsibility for your own life.
When you say “No”, use the affirmative pose from the arsenal of non-verbal communication (stand straight, look into the eyes, speak loudly).
Before you speak, decide what your position is.
Saying “No”, no need to apologize, defend yourself and make excuses.
If it’s hard for you to say “No” right away, say “I need time to think.” This will help get out of the vicious circle when you always express agreement with the opinions of others.
Remember, everyone has the right to say “No!”.
Step 2. Develop your confidence
First, make sense of the above when you are avoiding the opportunity to express your opinion, say “No,” or ask what you need. How could you handle the situation differently?
Hone your communication skills aloud, being alone with yourself, so that you are accustomed to a new way of talking. For example, “Unfortunately, I cannot help you this weekend,” or “I want the work to be done before the end of tomorrow.”
Then model the situation that will arise next week, in which you can show your confidence. Begin by expressing your opinion or saying “No” to loved ones, and then apply your proven skills in communicating with other people.
Rate how it went. Pay attention to the reaction of the interlocutor. Could you do something different next time?
Remember that like any new skill and requires time and practice. Don’t be too demanding on yourself in the beginning, if you are worried or do not understand how to do it right. You’ll need time to get used to a new style of communication and the changes that will occur within you.
Attitudes that prevent you from becoming sociable and self-confident
1. To be confident means to be selfish
This is not true, simply because the expression of your opinions and preferences doesn’t mean other people have to follow you. If you act confidently (not aggressively), you don’t deny the existence of respect for the values and beliefs of other people.
2. Passivity is a way to be loved
To be passive means to agree with others, always allowing them to control you and not to address them with any requests. This behavior does not guarantee that others will love or admire you. In fact, they may perceive you as a boring and frustrated person.
3. Better to be silent than to speak the truth
In some cases, it’s really better for us not to express our own opinion, especially if it concerns the relationship between the leader and subordinate, and then not always. However, more often other people will be interested in learning your opinion. Think about how you would feel if everyone always agreed with you.
4. I have to do everything that they ask me
When communicating with our friends, we may worry that we will look selfish if we don’t do everything that we are asked. At work, we may worry that we seem lazy or ineffective if we do not satisfy all the requests of our colleagues.
Other people will not know how busy you are, or whether you have other plans until you tell them about it.
Despite the fact that it is necessary to practice communication skills, in order to better understand how to become sociable, you should carefully monitor other people. Ask yourself, who are you comfortable talking to? Examine their behavior: smile, gestures, words, tone of voice. Embed other people’s chips in your life.