takes deliberate intention, so if you find yours lacking, it’s time to refocus and get down to work, says Jessica Edmonson of Bisk Education.
She has six strategies to help you do just that.
- Ditch the distractions. It takes focus to communicate well; whether you’re writing an email, talking on the phone or having a face-to-face conversation, you need to shut down all the distractions you can.
- Beware of buzzwords. Corporate lingo doesn’t contribute to clear communication, so cut it out of your vocabulary and opt for direct, concise, standard language instead.
- Accommodate your audience. Know your audience and anticipate what they need to hear from you. Also make a point of listening to their concerns by showing you’re really hearing them.
- Learn to listen. Don’t just hear what people are saying, be an active listener. Ask questions to follow up and get clarification, and paraphrase what you’ve heard to get confirmation you aren’t misunderstanding anything.
- Keep calm and stay civil. Nothing good can come from a heated exchange, so when you feel anger, defensiveness and other problematic emotions rising to the surface, you need to take action. Admit that’s how you’re feeling and take a break to calm down if you need to.
- Resist the urge to react. A reaction is often emotional and comes without much thought. Instead, respond to information in a thoughtful way with directness, honesty and consideration.
— Adapted from “6 Concrete Ways to Improve Business Communication,” Jessica Edmonson, ThoughtLeaders blog.
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