In order to be successful in every facet of your life, from your personal life to your professional life, you need to master the art of effective communication. You need to learn how to talk, listen, write, and relate to other people. You also need to learn how to cope with conflict and how to inspire and encourage others. You must learn how to coax and persuade. Finally, you need to learn to care about others in order to communicate with them to the best of your ability.
Interacting with others is essential to building strong personal and business relationships. It is also important to empower yourself and others through your day-to-day communication. You need to find ways to motivate others to act in a positive manner and to find ways to minimize friction and conflicts that may arise.
Communication Takes Many Forms
Communication can take a variety of different forms. There is verbal communication which can come by way of face-to-face meetings, telephone calls, voicemails, and e-mails. There is also non-verbal communication which can come by way of body language and facial expressions. Regardless of how you choose to communicate, it is essential that you send a concise and effective message in order to get the response that you desire.
In many of today’s occupations, writing takes up as much as 20 percent of the work day. For some professionals it is as much as 50 percent. That is a fair chunk of time set aside for the writing element of a job.
The way communication takes place in the business world has changed tremendously as technology has advanced. E-mailing is a very simple and convenient form of communication which can end up taking up large chunks of your work time if you are not careful.
To prevent your e-mails from taking too much time away from other work responsibilities, decide the purpose of one before you start composing it. Be clear and forthright about what you want from the person on the receiving end so he or she will be able to understand your message immediately. If your purpose is to request information, let that be known. If you want to provide information to the other party, say it in as few words as possible. Brevity is the key to writing smart e-mails that receive prompt answers.
Consider the person on the other end carefully. Try to imagine that you are in their shoes. In order for the desired outcome to be achieved from your e-mail, what information do you need to provide? Always make sure that the objective of your e-mail takes center stage and is the focal point of the correspondence.
Begin each paragraph with the main point and offer supporting data for it in the ensuing sentences. Do not provide any information that is not necessary. Say what is relevant and nothing more.
Make sure that the e-mail has a beginning to it as well as a middle section and an ending. Do not simply end an e-mail in the middle or not really end it at all. Make sure that you keep the reader’s needs in mind as you write the e-mail. Always be as clear and concise as you can possibly be. This cannot be emphasized enough!
When a face-to-face conversation takes place, it is important that everything you say makes sense to the other person and that there is a logical progression to your words. Do not confuse the other individual by starting in the middle or at the end of a story and working backwards. Explain things in chronological order- begin at the start and explain things as they happened, step by step (as in A followed by B, followed by C, and so on).
What you want is to for the other person to understand the message you are conveying as a logical sequence of events that took place. To do this, you must introduce the topic, lead into the main point, continue with the middle part, and then end it on a high note. If the person has any questions, let them ask you. This is how effective verbal communication works.
By keeping these simple strategies in mind, you will improve your communication skills, not just at your workplace but also in your personal life. Being a better communicator will make life easier for you and for those you come into contact with on a daily basis. In fact, it will make life better for everyone in general!
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