How to Improve Communication Skills in the Workplace
If you're investigating how to improve communication skills, start by mastering these five essential areas:
- Good Listening – To become a great listener, Laurie recommends the LAIR method. Begin by Listening closely. Acknowledge what has been said. Inquire by asking clarifying questions. And last but not least, Respond to ensure you have understood the meaning properly. Using the LAIR method is a proven method for how to improve communication skills.
- Appropriate Mode of Communication – If what you are saying is highly sensitive or could easily be misunderstood, then you need greater context. Face-to-face communication offers visual cues with gestures and facial expression, as well as vocal tone and verbal information. This is a place where email will not be the proper choice because it offers no context at all, just the verbal details. Don't choose the easiest solution; chose the one that ensures your meaning is understood.
- Minimize Communication Differences – Greater understanding happens when the differences between business communication styles are minimized. For example, if the other person speaks quickly, speed up your own delivery. If she avoids eye contact follow her lead. Aim to meet people where they are and mirror their style to promote a better connection. Laurie calls this "Chameleon Communication" and it is a simple method for improving communication skills at work.
- Non-Verbal Communication – Pay attention to your non-verbal communication including body language, gestures, and facial expressions to create congruence with your message. If you tell someone he did a great job, but have your arms crossed and a smirk on your face, your positive feedback will not be taken as sincere. For effective communication, all aspects must be aligned and deliver the same message.
- Focused, Clear and Concise Communication – Make sure you stay on the topic while not over or under explaining your message or instructions. When you are focused on making your point, the message is more likely to be properly understood.
"The feedback from the studios indicates that you walk on water. All four studios were extremely happy with the two-day sessions you conducted. One of the comments (from Kansas City) was that often we get trainers who try to adapt their presentations to the way we do business and many times miss the mark. You, however, were right on target! They especially appreciated the one-on-one sessions you held with the individual instructors. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us. I know the quality of the product that we produce will benefit from the advice and training that you provided."
—JOHN BUTORAC, SSA
Hire Laurie Brown for Programs on How to Improve Communication Skills
When your team needs to learn about effective communication in the workplace, choose Laurie Brown. Her proven training programs improve interpersonal communication skills that impact productivity, relationships and the bottom line. Her presentations are engaging and high energy, making them ideal for breakout sessions or in-house training.
Contact Laurie Now at (248) 761-7510 for Your Next Conference or Training.
…and get a Three Communication Techniques handout