Empathy and self-confidence are two of the biggest aspects of effective communication. In an article for Forbes, Michelle Riklan shares some tips that lean toward developing the latter. She details five ways to develop your communication skills at work.
- Reframe negative questions in your mind: One thing that makes people averse to communicating at all is a fear of failure or rejection, thinking things like, “What if they don’t like my work?” Riklan says to flip these questions around: “What if they do like my work?” “What if they like my idea and ask for more details?” By doing this, you can stop dwelling on worries and start thinking about maximizing opportunities.
- Focus on your fans: In a meeting or conference setting, ideally everyone in the room has eyes glued to your enrapturing presentation. But it is also likely some people will tune out, and if that happens, do not fixate on them as evidence that you are bombing. Instead, focus on everyone else who is still engaged.
- Be mindful of your body language: Maintain eye contact with a person who is talking to you, and smile if you can muster it. Maintain good posture too; slouching makes you look weak or at least aloof. And if giving a presentation, consider the value of hand gestures and walking around to keep energy up.
- Accept people’s facial expressions: This is kind of a rephrasing of “Focus on your fans,” honestly. Riklan is saying that you cannot please everyone, and if people look dissatisfied with your ideas, just accept it now and try to rectify it later.
- Stop hiding behind a screen: If you intentionally try to avoid interacting with other people physically throughout the day, it is no wonder if you feel like you have a hard time communicating with people. Put yourself out there.
You can view the original article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/09/07/five-hacks-to-improve-your-workplace-communication-skills/