We have some good news for you and some bad news. What you accomplish in your career and in your personal life is determined by how well you get your message across. If you don’t consider yourself a good communicator that might be bad news. The good news is, you can learn strong communication skills.
A communication breakdown is the reason behind the majority of problems people face both personally and professionally. People do not say what they mean clearly enough. Or other people don’t understand the communication as intended. There are three elements to any direct fact-to-fact communication, words, tone, body language. If all three don’t match, the communication becomes muddied. Once you learn to take all three into account you’ll be able to dramatically increase your communication skills.
The Element of Words
Words only account for 7% of any message. That means, to communicate effectively you need to back up words with the proper tone and appropriate body language. People run into problems when all three don’t match. When that happens, the listener will invariably focus on the tone or the body language more heavily than the words.
Emphasis and Tone
Your emphasis and tone can completely change how a message is perceived. Sometimes you say something and it goes over way better than expected. Other times the person you’re talking to becomes offended without hearing an offensive word. The reason for both reactions is probably tone of voice and emphasis. Throughout your communication, remember to pay close attention to your delivery. Notice how your words are being perceived throughout the interaction and revise your tone if necessary.
Never forget the importance of non-verbal communications. You can dramatically increase the effect of your communication by leaning toward the speaker. Shift forward onto the balls of your feet. Face the person you’re speaking to directly, with strong eye contact. By ensuring your body is in line with your words you will dramatically increase the impact of what you’re saying.