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Turbo-Boost Your Communication Skills

Written by: Dr. Margaret Potter, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Effective communication skills are critical to successful interactions and involve a combination of verbal and non-verbal behaviours, active listening, observational skills and empathy. It is widely accepted that non-verbal behaviour is more important in the transmission of information than spoken words. This involves both body language and paralanguage, the latter being how the words are spoken including pitch, pace, tone, and voice volume.

This takes a great deal of skill, so here are some tips to help you to turbo-boost your communication skills:

  1. Seek first to make a connection as this lays the foundation for establishing rapport and building trust in a relationship. It often helps to ‘match and mirror’ the behaviour of the other person as you spend time getting to know one another.

  2. Make sure you are fully present in the moment when communicating with another person. This will involve eliminating any mental or physical distractions. You should stop what you are doing and focus on the other person to demonstrate you are paying full attention.

  3. Always communicate with honesty and good intent so that you are authentic, show respect and build trust in your interaction.

  4. Listen with an open heart as when you do this well you will not only hear the words, but also intuitively link to the underlying feelings and emotions of the speaker. This will enable you to make a deep connection, one of acceptance that avoids judgement.

  5. Demonstrate care and compassion so that the person you are with feels heard and understood. This is best done through your body language, tone, volume, pitch and pace of speech. You may use touch to comfort, or simply sit in silence if that seems most appropriate.

  6. When appropriate don’t be afraid to share your faults as this reflects the reality that no one is perfect and being able to acknowledge this can deepen the connection between people.

Following these six simple steps will help you to become masterful as a communicator because you will become better at reading and accurately interpreting the non-verbal cues of the person you are communicating with, and then be able to adjust your communication style accordingly.


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Dr. Margaret Potter, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Margaret Potter is a highly respected educational leader and an internationally certified performance coach with more than 20-years of experience. She is Director of the TELL Centre, which provides short courses to support health professionals with their teaching, supervision and assessment activities. As a consequence of her PhD research on the patient-practitioner interaction in healthcare, Margaret is a sought-after speaker and expert on various topics associated with optimising communication. Her motto: Keep learning – keep growing!

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