Four Simple steps to instantly improve communication methods
- MAKE & KEEP EYE CONTACT
The eyes are the most expressive feature of our face. Maintain a suitable ‘business gaze’ to demonstrate your attention and interest in the person you are engaging with. A lack of eye contact may indicate deception, disinterest or avoidance. Eye contact that shifts/darts from the eyes to the rest of the body too often may indicate judgement or dismissal.
- HAVE OPEN POSTURE
The way in which we sit, or stand, or move speaks volumes to the person we are engaged with. Crossed arms may indicate defensiveness or disinterest. A tilted head may read as indifference. Hands on the hips may indicate aggression or control. Nodding your head while the other person speaks can demonstrate empathy, interest and understanding.
- ADJUST YOUR TONE OF VOICE
Consciously reducing your volume can help put more emphasis on important messages.
An effective way of calming another person’s rising volume is to lower your own. Using a slower tempo and a softer tone increases sincerity and a indicates a level of importance in what you are saying. Choosing the correct tone for the message you wish to convey can help avoid misunderstanding.
- EXCLUDE WORDS/PHRASES
We don’t always get to choose, think or rehearse our words before we say them, however, keeping our language clear, concise and free from lingo, jargon and/or sarcasm can help avoid misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Practice consciously excluding generalising words such as ‘always’, ‘never’, ‘everybody’ and ‘nobody’ when communicating with staff.