- Compassionate Communication
- Body language and the tone of your voice
- Words are your currency
- Eliminate “why” from your vocabulary
- Evaluate your conversation skills by recording
In most cases, we want to start our communication with kindness and empathy. Genuinely asking “How are you?” and showing interest in how the other person is doing before the start of a conversation sets an empathetic tone to your conversation. However, this doesn’t always have to be at the start of a conversation. We should maintain the empathetic tone as long as the communication lasts. Even if you think you’re right and you disagree with the other person about a certain topic, you should continue maintaining the empathy. Remember that the other person has the right to their opinion as much as you do. Evaluate whether or not it’s worth it to keep making your point across, sometimes it is just best to let it go. You may be right, but the other person doesn’t have to agree with you. Empathy is more important than being right.
Keep in mind, Compassionate Communication doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t defend yourself. You can still defend yourself while being empathetic. For example, if somebody is disrespecting you, you should call it out in a manner that is empathetic - “You’re coming in a little disrespecting manner, can you please help me understand where you’re coming from”.
Body language and the tone of your voice
60% of what you say is body language, 30% is tone and 10% is actually what you say. Confidence leads to an impressive body language. One of the best ways to develop confidence is being a subject matter expert. If you’re a subject matter expert, you will naturally have confidence in that area. When it comes to tone, you can give your voice the best tone when you speak from diaphragm. Speaking from diaphragm and keeping a cool mind will give your voice a really nice tone.
Words are your currency
Each and every word that comes out of your mouth is extremely important. You should think of your words as currency. You don’t want to use it in vain. Words you use in your communication should always buy something for you such as respect, trust, reputation; if they don’t give you anything, they shouldn’t be used.
Eliminate “why” from your vocabulary
This is sort of related to Compassionate Communication, but we are treating it separately here because it is very important. Using statements like “Why did you decide to choose this technology?” can make people defensive and you may not get the best answer from the other person. A better approach is to say along the lines of “Walk me through how you got here” or “I am a little confused, help me understand what made you decide on this technology”
Measuring your Effective Communication skills
One of the best ways to measure how you’re doing in developing your Effective Communication skills is through recording your communication. This will provide visibility into how you performed in your last communication. Pay attention to how you started your conversation and how things went through-out the conversation - did you start from an empathetic place?, did you have a differing opinion and how you handled it?, how was your body language and your tone?, did you maintain a cool head during your conversation?, were your speaking from diaphragm? were you authentic? This method of self evaluation will sit in your sub-conscious mind and you’re very much likely to improve the next time around. The self-improvement process will continue and over time you’ll become a great communicator