1. Learn to Listen to Others
This recommendation is not accidentally put onto the first place of a list: maybe, that is the most important activity in communicating and in developing your social skills, too.
Why should you listen to your collocutor? There are four reasons:
- To get information;
- To understand a viewpoint;
- To get satisfied with a conversation;
- To learn something new.
A skill you need to master is called as active listening. You take a conscious effort in order not to just hear a person, but what is the most important, to understand the point of their message.
If you need to concentrate on what a person says first, try repeating his or her words in mind or aloud: this will help you concentrate. Further, there are shown additional tips.
Show your collocutor that you listen to him or her:
- Have an eye contact;
- Try putting away everything that can distract: phone, thoughts, etc.
- Do not prepare a denial for his or her words in your mind in advance!
- Ignore distracting factors of the environment;
- Read your collocutor’s body language.
Show that You Listen
Use your own body language to pass your attention:
- Nod from time to time;
- Smile and react to words with your mimics and gestures;
- Pay attention to your body position and make sure that it demonstrates openness;
- Encourage the speaker to continue talking.
Your personal filters, suggestions, judgments and beliefs can spoil what you hear. Your goal when being a listener is to understand the point of a talk.
- Paraphrase what your collocutor says: “Do I understand correctly, that…?”
- Ask questions to make sure about certain moments: “What do you mean when saying like…?”
- Summarize what you’ve heard shortly: “So, as I understood…”
Do not interrupt
Of course, there are exclusions, but base on interrupting to be a bad manner.
2. Improve Verbal Communication
That is a very complicated topic, and nevertheless you can learn some main principles in order to use them right away.
Do not Forget about Voice and Its Tone
Your tone can play against you in a situation when things were thought to be perfect. When trying to tell about adventures you’ve met on the road to the office, you can sound like a person complying about their tough life. Study before the mirror; learn to express precise emotions with the tone of your voice only.
When you speak too loudly or too silently, you can confuse your collocutor. Adjust the volume of your voice according to the environment.