Communication is an indispensable tool in becoming an excellent, productive employee. Many hiring managers and recruiters count it among the ‘soft skills’ they look for in assessing potential candidates for job positions. Leaders, managers, and executives are expected to be skilled communicators because they can and will be called at any given moment to speak to various groups of people about any news and developments concerning the company.
If you want to stand out in your workplace, then it is recommended that you brush up and improve your communication skills as soon as possible. Recognise that this is a core competence you will have to build on as you ascend the ranks. The greater the position and responsibilities, the greater the level of skill in communication is required.
Establish the foundation today. Start with these six smart techniques that can develop you into becoming an effective, persuasive communicator who can build a strong connection with your audience.
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Communicating well primarily means knowing who your audience is. This sets the tone and will enable you to craft your message and approach for maximum impact. Do preliminary research before your discussion or meeting. Discover your audience’s goals and priorities. Understand their objectives in meeting with you. Use the best approach that will make them feel welcome and open to your ideas.
KNOW THE OBJECTIVE. Have a very firm idea of the objectives of the meeting before you enter the room. Is it to close a sale or persuade the other person to become your marketing partner? Is it to clarify an issue that he has raised? Is it to secure his support for a very important project? Always have the goals in mind during your conversation. Every point in the discussion must lead up to it. Be sensitive not just to the other person’s words, but his body language and non-verbal cues. They will indicate whether you are close to or far from reaching your goal at that point in the discussion.
KNOW HOW TO LISTEN. Many would-be communicators fail because they start and continue talking without giving the other person the time and space to convey his concerns. Listening is winning half the battle. You will learn a lot more about the other party, especially the apprehensions and fears he has which you may need to address. You will understand his motivations, and can steer the discussion into the things that interest and inspire him as a means to getting him on your side.
KNOW THE CONTEXT. To be effective with your audience, you must have a solid understanding of his situation. This will help you to reach deep into the root of his concerns and provide a unique solution that no one else can give. The new insights you glean from understanding his context may also increase his trust in you.
For example, you are aware that your potential client‘s objective is to increase his sales. Go a step further and understand his business environment. If he is an IT manager challenged by his boss to help the marketing manager make his online campaigns more effective, you might be able to suggest a product or service from your company that can link his technology with the marketing department’s social media sites.
KNOW HOW TO ASK. Asking questions will show the other person that you are genuinely interested in his ideas and situation. Your questions must reveal more about his thoughts, plans, projects, and products. They must also be asked at the right time. Avoid asking them while he is still in the middle of an explanation. Let him finish what he has to say, and then pose your inquiries.
KNOW HOW TO EMPATHISE. As a proverb points out, people may not accurately remember our words but they will remember how we said them. Your ability to relate to the other person will make him feel that you do understand him and are genuinely concerned about his well-being. This means that he can trust you with his greater plans and other interests in which he has a huge stake.
Show your empathy through a careful use of words that honour his culture, company, position, and personhood. Read his body language and respond appropriately. Build a bond on interests and experiences that you share.
Communications is a lifelong skill that you need to always sharpen to reach your audience. It is the first step in creating partnerships and alliances in the business world. It is the channel that facilitates excellent teamwork that contributes to a project’s success. It cannot be learned overnight, but practice these six techniques consciously every day. Soon, you will find that your audience will respond positively, paving the way for you to accomplish your own objectives in that encounter.All content is produced and published by IMPACT! Brand Communications.