21 Ways to Improve Your Communication
Sounds simple—we do it every day.
We email, we talk on the phone, we text, we tweet, and * gasp * we talk to each other in person.
With so much communicating happening at every moment of the day, why is it sometimes so difficult to get your point across clearly?
And how incredibly frustrating is it when you’re not sure what your co-worker or boss is trying to communicate?
At Sūmèr, we pride ourselves on helping others communicate their messages effectively, clearly, and compellingly.
That’s why our team compiled a checklist for 21 ways to be a better communicator.
Trying to incorporate all 21 tips at once might seem a little daunting, so we recommend picking a few from the list you know you need to improve on and focusing on those.
Let’s dive in:
- Pick up the phone: To avoid confusion, ensure you get your point across, or if you are playing email tag, pick up the phone.
- Think before you speak: Taking a moment to think before you speak helps prevent tangents and miscommunication (sometimes this is easier said than done!).
- Write down directions: The best way to avoid miscommunication is to write down specifics or directions. Then you can verbally discuss the items on the list.
- Ask people to repeat instructions: Best way to ensure someone “gets” what you want? Ask them to repeat back what you just said.
- Clarity around expectations: Do employees know what’s expected of them? If not, write it down. Have a conversation. And revisit the list often.
- Listen, listen, listen: Stop talking, and really focus on what the other person is saying.
- However, don’t be a defensive listener: Instead of thinking about what you’re going to say next, try to be fully present while listening to the other communicator.
- Maintain eye contact: Maintaining eye contact not only helps you focus on the conversation, but also lets the other person know you are engaged.
- Ask questions: Asking questions shows that you are listening and is especially important if the conversation is on the phone.
- Avoid trying to impress: Don’t make the conversation about you.
- Remain calm: Avoid reacting negatively, either verbally or with body language.
- Make a firm decision: Nothing kills communication worse than changing course. Sure, you’ll need to take a different direction sometimes, but come up with a well-thought-out directive first.
- Learn how to take notes: This skill saves a lot of stress down the road.
- Think about the big picture: Consider the objective, and then build the parts.
- Just say no to agency finger-pointing: Take responsibility for communication errors, and don’t pass the blame.
- Be proactive with time frames: Don’t expect someone to get a huge project done in a few hours.
- Attract more bees with honey: Someone is more likely to be open to suggestions and requests when asked nicely.
- Check your ego at the door: Don’t let your ego impede the conversation. Have an open mind and mutual respect for whom you’re conversing with.
- Be conscious of your nonverbal communication: Sometimes body language says more than words.
- Cross your “T’s” and dot your “I’s”: Especially in business communication, a simple grammar or misspelling takes away from the writer’s credibility.
- Organize your thoughts: Especially in email and written communication, organize your thoughts and ideas in a systematic, easy-to-understand way.
From website copy and email marketing, to blog content and social media, we help businesses communicate their messages in order to engage and convert more prospects.
One of the most important aspects to online communication is crafting calls to action that convert.
If call to action communication is something your company is looking to improve, download our free guide:
10 Call to Action DOs and DON’Ts That Increase Your Conversion Rate.