Anyone Can Learn Effective Communication!
Updated: Aug 18, 2022
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We've all met someone who is innately great at presenting and articulating themselves. Somehow, they are understood, every single time. What gives, right? It can certainly leave the impression that great communicators are born, not made. Fortunately, we're in no position to invalidate this, but the possibility of developing your own communication skills, beyond its current state, is, for sure, very much attainable.
According to britannica.com, a skill is "the ability to do something that comes from training, experience, or practice." In other words, skills can be developed. This is where the bold claim of anyone being able to develop their communication skills arises, because, as the definition says, we are able to enhance those abilities through training, experience or practice. This is where we explore some ways that you can begin learning how to improve your own communication skills.
What's motivating you?
What’s motivating you? Motivation is like your why, but with motivation, it's possible to articulate how motivated you are. Once that motivation is strong enough, desirable outcomes are almost guaranteed. It can be motivation that leads you toward the most sought after outcomes, or motivation that leads you away from an undesirable outcome.
Word to the wise, single out the motivators that are of value to you, because the journey to good communication is a lifelong commitment, one that requires all of your authenticity and uniqueness. It's a lifelong practice, use your motivations to connect you to the goal.
What’s your starting point?
How honest are you willing to be with yourself? To know where you start, you’ll have to critique. Look at the interactions you have with others and yourself; the relationships in your life; your career; and the way you interact with yourself. Where, in each of these areas, needs improvement?
If you desire further context, seek out honest, constructive criticism from the people you engage with on a regular. Try making it a fun experience, by coming up with (Insert Your Name)'s Communications Feedback Form. Ask persons for feedback after engaging with them. Two questions: 1. What areas would I stand to benefit most, if I improved on? 2. What areas do I do well?
Don't take it personally, it’s just their opinions and it doesn't mean that they're right. After collecting a few, patterns will emerge and that’s where you pay the most attention.
Feel free to come up with your own way to gather the information you need to make your start.
How honest are you willing to be with yourself?
Be prepared to work
Can't have scrambled eggs without scrambling some eggs, right? Likewise, improving your communication skills needs you to scramble some things. Your comfort zone? Scramble it. Limiting beliefs? Scramble it. Fears, what people would think, imposter syndrome? You guessed it, scramble them all.
Challenge yourself, to do different from what you've always done and to produce better results than what you've always produced. Remaining steadfast is where you'll find your rewards.
Bring in a professional
In case you didn't know, there are professionals out there, who can help you develop the areas you want to be or need to be stronger in. Let your needs determine. Since there are many options out there, you can look at a number of factors, such as what do you want to work on, since there are things that a consultant can offer that a mentor may not; likewise a communication coach is able to offer something totally different from others. Knowing what your objective is will help you decide.
Additionally, you have to look at what's going to suit your personality style and the way you want to receive new perspectives because it matters, especially if your intent is to meet your desired outcome. Once the ideal fit is found, you'll find this area to be a worthwhile investment in your success.
Enhance your knowledge and practice
Seek out those opportunities to practice your communication skills so that you can maximize your development.
The type of practice would depend on your actual goal but because of its nature, communication skills require practical development. Seek out those opportunities to practice your communication skills so that you can maximize your development. Some of the elements that can be helpful: