“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Anthony Robbins
Truly successful professionals are managers or leaders who have mastered the art of effective communication. They are well-liked by colleagues (including subordinates and superiors), company’s clients seem to love them too and they always seem to close the major deals.
It may seem like these individuals were blessed with a natural talent for speaking well – and maybe some of them were. But everything can be learned, including how to speak like a world class speaker.
Apply these 5 C’s of effective communication to enhance your relationships and get on the road to greater professional success:
If your listeners can not understand what you are saying, your message will never be effective. The easiest way to instantly improve the clarity of your speech is to slow down. When we get nervous or stressed our rate of speaking often increases. And these are the times when calm eloquence and tact are most needed. Take a deep breath, slow down and speak clearly.
I speak in many countries where English is not their first language, and people always come up to me and say they liked my pace, and were able to follow me completely.
It is also important to formulate your thoughts in a clear manner so that other people can understand your message. Stick to your main point, be as concise as possible and back up your main message with examples and stories that make sense to your listener.
“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms” – Voltaire
Whether you like it or not, you will be judged based on how you speak. Individuals with poor grammar and sloppy speech patterns are often viewed as being lazy, uneducated and even disrespectful.
Make proper speech a priority. Polish up your grammatical skills and build a healthy vocabulary. Read as much as you can, ask your friends, family or colleagues for help or join a grammar refresher course.
You may not see this as a very important point, but as our world becomes more global, just speaking English isn’t enough. You need to speak it really well. In the earlier part of my career, I cannot tell you the number of times, the way I spoke got me the job, the deal, the date, better service, or simply better results!
“First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak.” – Epictetus
Before you even open your mouth, focus on being considerate towards everyone you meet. Make eye contact with people when they approach you. Have a good attitude and show your winning smile.
Show that you care for others by asking questions and showing interest. Remember personal details that are important to them, and build a relationship that consists of more than just the work at hand. Limited small talk is imperative to building rapport and stronger relationships in the workplace.
If you are considerate towards others, they will also treat you with care and respect. We all like working with people we like, so your goal should be to be well-liked by others. The way you achieve this is by being friendly, considerate and showing you care.
One the simplest ways to show consideration is to use people’s names.
“The sweetest sound on the face of the earth is your name on someone else’s lips.” I take the trouble to learn the name, the proper annunciation of it and then use it liberally when conversing with the person. It works wonders.
“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” – Winnie the Pooh
In addition to being considerate, another way to build instant rapport is to give sincere compliments. Recognize those around you for a job well done. Show interest by congratulating others on their accomplishments.
If your colleague mentions that he finally finished that big project that you know he or she was slogging over for months, respond with a sincere “Great job!” or “Super job, expected nothing less from you!” These types of remarks are always appreciated. It sinks in deep.
Keep in mind that compliments should be subtle and appropriate and the closeness of your relationship also determines how a compliment will be received. Commenting on a colleague’s physical appearance for example, may not be acceptable in the modern workplace, unless you are also very close friends outside of the office. The key element is sincerity, timeliness and what is appropriate for the situation.
“A compliment is verbal sunshine” – Robert Orben
“If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy
A successful communicator is a confident communicator. It is hard to take someone seriously who doesn’t seem to believe in his own words.
Confidence does not just come from what you are verbalizing (saying), but also what you are vocalizing – in other words, the pace, pitch and volume of your voice. A calm, steady voice we can hear always sounds stronger and more confident than a quiet, mousy squeak.
Confidence is also demonstrated non-verbally, by the posture you assume, the energy you exhibit with all of your body.Your visual appearance can also exude confidence or draw from it. Make sure you stand straight and make firm eye contact when you address other people. The old saying clothes make a person is to a certain extent true. When a man or women dresses sharply, with the right cut, with the right lines that match their body shape, the right style and colours appropriate to their industry, they stand out and without a word communicate confidence.
One of the most common questions I get asked is “Leslie why do you wear a bright red jacket?” The point being in the edutainment industry, I can, and it is not subtle, it screams out, it is confident, attention getting and as most of my classroom participants will tell memorable! Without saying word people perceive my confidence.
“You can communicate words, but how you say it, the expression, the posture, the clothes,, and how you made them feel is ultimately the goal in effective communication.” – Leslie Choudhury
Leslie Choudhury has been a GM or CEO of 4 different corporate companies in 4 different countries. He has won countless awards for his ability to motivate, influence and inspire changes in staff mentality and results. His awards include: Westin Business Innovation award, the President’s/CEO’s award for running the best Sales team in the world for Sheraton Hotels, Best Service Company of the year award in Singapore, and “EBIT & ME Personality Award for Asia & Pacific”. A consultant to Cendant International (the world’s largest service provider). Choudhury holds a BBA from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA and is certified in Directive Communication psychology, recognized by the American Institute of Business Psychology, the only person in Asia awarded with ‘CITE’ status; and the author of two self-help books – ‘Once Upon A Time’ series. Leslie was also voted as the world’s number 6 Communication Guru by Gurus International. Leslie Choudhury was just recently recognized by the Princeton Premier 2009 Honours Edition and Global Who’s Who publication recognizing his Training & Consultation prowess and accomplishments. Leslie is the CEO of Dreamz Image International and Director for Directive Communication International ( ASIA) Pte Ltd. For more info see www.lesliechoudhury.com