Effective Communication Principles – Positive Interpersonal Skills
Posted on November 28th, 2018
Great leaders have many remarkable qualities. One of their most noticeable and admired abilities is the way they communicate so effectively. Whether in person speaking one-on-one, in a small group meeting or making a presentation to a larger audience, they know how to get the message across in a simple and positive manner. They know exactly what to say, how to say it and what the audience needs to retain. They believe, it is their responsibility to articulate the message, convey it in a manner that engages the listener and that the message is received as intended. Some leaders have this ability naturally, while others develop this important skill over time. Anyone can learn and achieve this leadership strength, if they follow some simple and basic principles for improving this skill. In this article, I am going to share some basic, time tested and proven principles in two areas; Positive Interpersonal Skills and Group Presentation Skills. These simple principles if followed can help further improve your communication skills and make you an effective and positive communicator.
Positive Interpersonal Skills
- Be an Active Listener
Positive inter personal communication begins with being an active and empathetic listener. Your eyes, ears and mind must be engaged with the speaker. It takes a sincere effort to fully comprehend what message the speaker is trying to send. You may not fully comprehend if you do not pay full attention. In addition to their words, you must also observe their body language, feel their tone and capture their emotions. Different people communicate differently but they do show their true feelings, along with their words in a noticeable manner. An engaged and active listener comprehends the words, feels the emotion and retains speaker’s intent.
- Pay undivided attention
- Maintain positive facial expressions
- Capture the words, the emotions and the intent
- Be mindful that everyone has a different communication style
- Be Interactive
Any meaningful and positive dialogue requires two or more engaged and empathetic listeners rather than talkers. Instead of preparing your response to the words you hear, you should wait for the speaker to give you an opportunity to respond. It is important to repeat back and clarify what you heard and understood. This will alleviate any ambiguity. While speaking to others, address them by their preferred name. It shows enormous respect. At times, it may require some patience on your part, because the speaker may have a unique communication style or is overwhelmed with stress or emotions.
- Listen more, talk less
- When speaking, address others by their name
- Respect speakers’ unique style and their emotions
- Repeat back to verify what you understood is accurate
- Be Sincere
The act of sincerity in both listening and speaking situations makes any conversation a positive communication. People will notice your engagement style, authenticity and level of sincerity almost immediately. There may be some situations during the conversation where It may become necessary for you to share your true feelings as well. But, do so in a kind, gentle and respectful manner. Be aware of your own facial expressions, hand gestures and other body movements which may be perceived as in-sincere or offensive. A pleasant smile on your face will make the listener comfortable in carrying on the conversation.
- Engage with authenticity
- Have integrity in your words
- Be aware of your own body language
- Share your true feelings in a kind and respectful manner
- Speak Clearly
Skillful interpersonal communication requires that you speak clearly and in a pleasant tone of voice. You should articulate words that are appropriate and easy to understand. Unclear speech shows lack of articulation and risks losing listener’s interest. A monotone voice with no change in pitch or volume shows no emotion and are boring to the listener. Speaking too fast or too slow may irritate the listener and may not hear or understand what you had to say. You should also observe how your words and emotions are being received by the listener. Make appropriate changes in your words, tone, pace and emotions.
- Speak clearly and with a smile
- Speak with a pleasant tone of voice
- Speak at a normal pace and with high and low pitch
- Observe the listener’s responses and make appropriate changes
- Show your Gratitude
People in their day to day business life and even in personal life are often short of time. Sometimes they are low on energy or have a lack of interest in having conversation with you. When people give you time and attention, they are really giving you a gift, out of their life. That amount of time will never comeback for them! It is so important that you thank them for their time in having a conversation with you. Showing your sincerity and gratitude for their time, makes them respect you. If the conversation benefitted you in a material sense, a follow up with a written ‘Thank you’ note may be appropriate.
- People like to be valued
- When they give you time, consider it a gift!
- Show sincerity and gratitude for their time and input
- Pay back with sincere thanks and a follow up note when needed
Consultant – Food and Nutrition Services