It is easy to forget that people actually pay close attention to what you are saying, even in the most casual conversations. Even more than your words, your style will be observed – how the message is delivered can have an enormous impact.
The best communicators alter their style to suit the needs of their listeners.
8 Key Points:
1. Ensure your body language is open and positive.
Arms crossed or the rolling of the eyes, however subtle, can override a thousand words.
2. Be careful who is around when you vent your frustration.
Your team members or clients may ascribe far more meaning than you intended when you are simply letting off steam.
3. Speak in positive terms.
This is even possible when the subject matter is sensitive or inflammatory.
Focus on issues, not personalities to convey the message.
Avoid harsh, judgmental, critical language, particularly when speaking about peoples’ behaviors, attitudes and personalities.
4. Use “I” language. When you are delivering a strong and/or negative message ensure you are using “I” language.
Example: “I have some strong concerns about the quality of work.”
5. Create a positive bridge. The bridge allows the other person to be receptive to anything else that might follow .
Example: “I appreciate your efforts to date…”
6. Pay attention to your rate of speech.
If you think quickly and patience is not your virtue, you may be talking too quickly for your listeners.
Try to slow down rather than sounding like your on fast forward.
7. Listen to your tone.
It should convey a message of respect for both yourself and your listener.
Most situations require it should be neither too gentle nor too harsh.
8. Consider the communication needs of the other person.
For example, if they are a concrete person, focus on the detail and build up to the big picture in a logical, sequential manner.
If the listener is a conceptual thinker you can start with the overall picture and use analogies and more abstract expression.
Communicate with confidence,