According to former US president, Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else do what you want done because they want to do it.”
According to the late president and war hero, leaders have the requisite skills to convince others to realize their vision and help them acquire it. Influence is not possible without effective communication skills. However, influence and communication skills are not always inherent to our personalities (except for a lucky few); rather, they typically have to be developed and practiced over a period of. Here are seven key aspects of an effective communication skills training program:
First and foremost, to develop good communications skills, you must be able to listen, and listen well. Until you listen to truly understand what the other person is saying, you cannot be in a position to effectively respond. A proven communication skills training program should first make you a better overall listener in the eyes of those whom you are speaking with.
Do Not be ‘Me First’
Going hand-in-hand with better listening skills and seeking first to understand, an effective communication skills training should also help you be “other-centered.” If you are more concerned with yourself and your own goals and objectives, it is difficult to have a meaningful connection with your audience – regardless of the number of people you are speaking with.
Too many people start a one-way speech about what they want to discuss and simply drone on and on. To communicate more effectively, do not be monotonous; take breaks, even short ones lasting a few seconds, to give a chance to the audience to step in and say something.
Focus on the Topic under Discussion
It can be easy to lose focus during a conversation. But meandering conversations rarely get productive results or build relationships. Try to stay on track and focus on what matters most to your audience.
Pay attention to your audience’s verbal and non-verbal cues. If they are not responding or appear disengaged, you have probably lost them. Look for signs that your communication style or content is not hitting the mark and adjust accordingly.
The Value of Empathy
Being empathetic is arguably one of the most important points to consider when it comes to communication skills training. For example, if someone is telling you about an incident that occurred in their life, that is not a signal for you to start reciting a similar incident that happened to you. Ask questions and be curious about what matters most to them. Do not create interpersonal communication barriers by appearing indifferent of self-centered.
Say No to Frequent Interruptions
A good communication skills training program always emphasizes the importance of not interrupting. Interruptions often show how little you value the other person’s opinion compared to your own thoughts and level of impatience. It may often be taken as a type of insult. In fact, frequent interruptions are often the number one communications complaint when dialogues go sideways.
To learn more, download Effective Communication Skills Best Practices: The Essential Ingredient in Any Interaction