5 Great Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills

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Jill Simpson is a trainer and coach from DEVA Training in Kilmarnock. She helps clients communicate their message to customers, colleagues and others by helping to remove the barriers to communication and improve their verbal communication skills.

GreatCommunication skills are important in every aspect of our daily lives and it is also true for our business lives. So without further ado here are Jill Simpson’s 5 Top Tips for great business communication.

One. This might surprise you but shut up and listen. It has often been pointed out that we have two ears and one mouth for a good reason:  by really listening you start to understand the other person’s point of view, and when you understand you are far better placed to put across your own position. Listening helps you communicate more effectively whether you are selling to customers, managing your staff or negotiating with a supplier.

Two. Asking open questions will help you develop this understanding: open questions begin with How, When, Where, What, Why. Good verbal communication is a two way street so avoid interrupting after asking your question: you might miss a vital piece of information that you will find useful in understanding the real issue, to strengthen your case or to combat an objection.  

Three. Learn to be assertive: be clear about what it is that you want the outcome of the conversation to be; check your own thinking for hidden agendas – are you being honest in your communication? Ask for what you want. If you have really listened to the other person, you can often propose a win-win solution. After all, what is communication if not an opportunity to influence the outcome?

Four. Help people to trust you. If you can build rapport with the person you are talking to you will be more successful in getting your point across. A smile, nodding in agreement and mild praise can go a long way in getting people to like you. Make eye-contact, mirror their body language and emphasis your similarities to help create a bond and build understanding. Learn to do this in a natural way; it shouldn’t be false. As actor George Burns once joked "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made."

Five. Hold back from making instant judgements. It’s all too easy to judge others or their motivation from their appearance, their accent, or even based on our own mood of the moment. Approach every communication with an open mind and you will often be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make a real connection.

Links to further help improve your communication skills.
University of Kent career service: http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/communicating.htm
BBC Skillswise: http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/topic/communication-skills


For more top tips for small business visit the Tosh Lubek Channel on YouTube, where you can also leave a comment and subscribe.

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The video Communication Skills and how to use verbal communication to boost your leadership skills can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/nAMgV1PSVb4

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