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Communication: ranked as the #1 skill in business success

Updated: May 14, 2021

How well are you communicating with others? Do you ever get frustrated with not having clear understanding with the other person? Do you know you could have greater impact with the words and message delivery?

In twenty years of delivering Communications based training programs I’ve seen a lot of great communication and some not so good communication. My coaching clients identify this as one of their top issues. From that I’ve come up with my top 8 keys to creating successful communication… the things that will have the greatest impact on improving your communication.

These are the key items that will bump up your communication quickly!

Know your message: What is it you are trying to communicate? Be clear on what you want to say and how to say it. Be confident that you know your topic. Research the topic so you are able to handle any questions that arise.

Know your audience: Who are you communicating with? What is their communication style? What information is most important for them to know?. Are they detail oriented or are they interested in the bottom line?

Choose your time: Statistically people are most receptive at 10:00 am. (Coffee has now been consumed, email and voice mail checked, and any fires have been attended to). Extra hot tip: Best time to ask the boss for a raise: Thursday morning.

Speak from both the mind and the heart: Messages presented from the heart have impact. Mind guides us to information; heart guides us to the true essence of the communication. Both are needed for maximum impact.

Let the true you shine through. No-one likes listening to a stuffed shirt! Be real. Connect with people. Let people see who you really are.

Ask first, tell next. Asking questions is a great way to open up the lines of communication and create a positive tone for the subsequent conversation. I must say that if you choose to make one change out the 8 here, this one will have the greatest impact. Zip it, ask questions, and listen to the response. Then watch how the communication gets better.

Be aware of the impact of the entire message. Words account for only 7% of the message in a face to face communication! 38% of the message is tone of voice and a whopping 55% is body language. What are you non-verbal messages saying? If you are not sure of your impact try preparing for a conversation in the mirror. Observe your body language, tone, rate of speech, pitch, pace and power of your voice.

Listen for all points of view. Hmmm… maybe the way you see a situation is not the way everyone else sees it. What other possible views of a tough situation are there? There are always more ways to look at a situation then the frame you have chosen right now. A great key to improving your communications success and reducing conflict is to listen for all points of view. What is it the person is really trying to communicate? Does your response match that or are you bringing your own baggage to the interaction and letting that guide you?

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