How to communicate like a pro
Productive communication starts with Active Listening. When we actively listen, we remove distractions, open our minds, and give someone our full attention. Our attuned focus allows us to establish the connection that cues us into what people are saying with their words, tone, and bodies. Pay particular attention to someone’s nonverbal and paraverbal communication because these account for up to 93% of communication.
Nonverbal Communication: We communicate with our facial expressions, eye contact, posture, gestures, and body position to emphasize, contradict, question, and otherwise modify what we say.
Paraverbal Communication: We communicate with the pitch, tone, and pace of our speech. We raise our voices and use inflection to reinforce and modify our words. Paraverbal is not what we say, but how we say it.
We can bolster our active listening skills with a few simple tricks. Fast Company recommends doing away with the assumptions we might have about the person we’re talking to and begin with an open mind. Set aside bias and just listen
Often, we approach a conversation with thoughts of what we want to get out of it. Put that aside as well. Address the other person’s priorities, ideas, or agenda items first. Doing so makes people feel comfortable. In turn, they feel better about engaging more openly with you, which engenders an atmosphere of collaboration.
An effective communicator is also attuned to their own nonverbal signals. When we actively listen, we take in the full spectrum of what’s being communicated, said and unsaid, by all the parties involved.
As a leader in your office, your communication role boils down to social awareness and actively listening. According to Psychology Today, a good listener gives their conversation partner a ‘feeling as if they had a good “connection” with him or her.’ Your ability to connect is predicated upon your strong interpersonal skills, and connections translate to engagement. Studies show an engaged workforce is 17% more productive than their peers.
Thus, your ability to hold a conversation with your team can directly translate to your bottom line. That’s a big return for a little small talk.
So, how can you become a better conversationalist?