Communication is an important foundation in today’s business world because it provides us with the ability to engage in decision making, aids in creating knowledge management systems, allows coordination of work activities (i.e., teamwork), and also gives individuals a sense of connection with co-workers. There is no doubt that successful employees at all levels, from the lowest-ranking person to the CEO, stand to benefit by improving their verbal communication skills (Greenberg, 2005). I would like to present and unpack several strategies from Greenberg (2005) that will help you improve your communication skills.
1.) Use inspirational communication tactics: Effective leaders and employees know to use the following persuasion techniques to inspire others when they communicate.
– Use emotion-provoking words to project confidence and power.
– Be credible. Credibility can be enhanced by backing up your claims with clear data.
– Avoid “junk words” these include “like”, “know what I mean?”, “you know”, and “anyway”.
– Use “front-loaded messages” putting the meat of your point at the front, so you can use the rest of your time to illustrate and provide support.
2.) Be a supportive communicator: To communicate effectively with others, we need to show that we are interested in what the other person has to say and respond in ways that strengthen the relationship between ourselves and the target of our messages.
– Focus on the problem, not the person.
– Acknowledge the other person’s ideas.
– Match your words with your body language.
3.) Encourage open feedback: Accurate information is the key to effective communication. Organizations and leaders should encourage feedback since feedback is a prime source of information.
– 360° Feedback: these are formal or informal systems in which people at all levels of an organization, or people with differing relationships to the person or issue, give feedback.
– Suggestion Systems: programs that invite employees to submit ideas about how something may be improved.
4.) Walk the talk: Actions speak louder than words. Good communication demands consistency. And, for the words to be heard as loud as the actions, they must match up. Match your words to your actions.
5.) Be a good listener: Effective communication involves more than just presenting messages clearly. It also involves doing a good job of comprehending others. Although most of us take listening for granted, effective listening is an important skill.
– Be nonjudgmental while taking in information from others.
– Acknowledge speakers in ways that encourage them to continue speaking.
– Attempt to advance the speaker’s ideas to the next step.
Greenberg, J. (2005). Managing behavior in organizations. Pearson Prentice Hall.