Good communication plays a very essential role in achieving success both as an individual and part of an organization. Leaders who know how to clearly express their thoughts are more effective in engaging and building relationships within their teams. Moreover, it is important to express your views clearly and positively.
The success of any relationship relies on whether communication is effective or not. Effective communication does not only mean being able to communicate your ideas clearly but also listening attentively. It is the ability to fully understand and offer empathy and to give feedback based on the response from the other side of the conversation. In a nutshell, it is the successful exchange of thoughts and ideas between people or groups.
With that in mind, successful communication in the organisation requires you not only to communicate clearly but also to have the ability to express your views positively. Expressing your ideas positively assures the people you are communicating with that you are in control of everything, even when the situation is leaning towards negative outcomes. In addition, it helps with motivation when you or your colleagues are feeling discouraged or frustrated.
No matter what situation you are in, expressing your views clearly and positively can be quite daunting but can be very rewarding once you get past the difficulties. Here are some steps you can take to improve communication with individuals or groups:
1. Remember your “why”
No matter how many times you rehearse and reconstruct the way you are going to express your ideas, if you do not remember the reason the communication is needed, it will not get you anywhere. You may find yourself engaging in a conversation that will distract you from being able to express what’s on your mind. Every interaction should have a purpose, even if it is just small talk.
Knowing why you are engaging in the conversation will also help you make sure you are speaking from a positive mindset. Communicating from a negative light will only discourage your audience rather than encouraging them to take action towards success.
Be clear and know exactly what ideas you are trying to communicate and ask yourself what you want them to understand. Remembering the “why” when communicating allows you to keep within your objectives in the conversation and avoid any other side conflicts that may arise. It also helps you make sure that your message is delivered clearly, without missing any details.
2. Listen, then talk
Since effective communication is based on how well the information is being exchanged in the conversation, listening, and having full understanding before responding is essential. Make sure that you do not make the conversation all about you. Avoid dominating the conversation by over talking and filling any pauses in the conversation, because it will prevent you and the other side from understanding each other.
Listening to understand helps you better position your message so that it can be expressed positively.
While this rule is generally more applicable to face-to-face conversations, it also applies to written correspondence. Understand what the other side is saying first, before constructing your response. This helps in keeping your responses as positive as you can, as you will have a clear view of what the other person is communicating.
Empathy is putting yourself in another person’s situation to understand their emotions and perspective. This helps us communicate in a way that will make sense for the receiver. Communicating with empathy makes your audience feel that they are understood and will listen more in return.
Communicating with empathy means asking yourself how the other person in the conversation would feel if you expressed your ideas the way you are planning to. Being able to come from a place where everyone’s feelings are taken into consideration will make sure that you are expressing your ideas clearly and as positively as possible.
4. Be assertive and confident
Assertiveness is required in speaking clearly and positively because it gives you the power and confidence to get your point across clearly, fairly, and with empathy. Speaking confidently will not only allow you to deliver your message clearly, but it will also help build trust between you and your audience.
Lack of confidence, on the other hand, instills hesitation and discourages cooperation from the other person you are conversing with. When you speak without much confidence, people will be quick to turn their attention away and not listen to understand anymore.
There is a fine line between assertiveness and aggression that makes most people confuse the two. Being assertive in communicating your ideas simply means you are firm about your thoughts while still considering what others would feel.
5. Simplify it and be concise
Information overload is one of the main causes for people to not understand what is being communicated. While some people are quick to express their confusion in certain situations, that is not always the case. Most people who get confused by information overload will only nod and say yes to avoid receiving more from the conversation.
Simplify the way you are going to express your ideas so it would be taken by your audience clearly. This way, you will be able to deliver clear expectations and objectives. It will also help to make your audience take your communication positively.
Overall, effective communication skills play a huge role in nurturing positive experiences for yourself whether it is in your career or your personal life. When people feel understood, your environment improves. Your communication will seldom be taken negatively, and you will be more trusted.
You can begin improving the way you express your ideas by following the tips we mentioned above and take it further by looking at videos and enrolling in workshops and webinars for effective communication. It is never a bad idea to invest in yourself and the way you communicate, as it helps you achieve your goals faster while building stronger relationships with the people around you.