How to Improve Communication Skills

How to Improve Communication Skills

Ideas and tips from ITD on How to Improve Communication Skills.

How to improve communication skills - on the phone

When considering how to improve communication skills on the telephone it depends on the context. If you’re making a call to a contact or client and you have to time to prepare then it’s a good idea to use it well. You’re preparation can include the following:

  1. What’s you’re objective for the call. What do you want to get from it?
  2. What do you know about the contact that could impact on how you handle the call?
  3. Draft a structure for the call. It could be something like; what we know now, what you want, what we need, what we’re going to do.
  4. Try summarising in the call to give you time to think

How to improve communication skills - in meetings

Reflecting on how to improve communication skills in meetings is a big subject. Much depends on the type of meeting, who is running it, who is attending, how many people are involved. So we need to adapt to the different meetings we have.

How to improve communication skills - when meeting a new person

When you’re meeting a new person and you want to make a good impression you could consider how to improve communication skills in this context. There are no rules on this but there are some guidelines:

  1. Make good eye contact. Why? because eye contact equals trust. We tend not to make eye contact when we’re not comfortable, so show you’re comfortable by giving good eye contact.
  2. Smile! Everyone looks great when they smile and it relaxes both parties.
  3. Show interest in them. Ask questions and listen well enough to ask follow up questions.
  4. Offer them refreshments.
  5. When you finish the communication finish it with something like ‘it’s been good to meet you.’
How to improve communication skills

How to improve communication skills - through body language

If you’re wondering how important body language is when answering the question ‘How to improve communication skills’, the answer is VERY! The diagram above gives you some guidance and ideas on what is important.

How to improve communication skills - with a your new manager

When you’ve got a new manager you usually want to get on with them. It’s usually in your own interests to have a good working relationship with your manager. People’s favourite subject is them selves or their own opinions, and the same is true for managers. So it makes sense to ask questions about them. What are they trying to achieve? How do they like to manage? What do they expect from their team? What do they do when they’re not at work.

When you start working with a new manager it may take them some time to get sued to their new time. So you may need to give them some space to get organised and used to their new position.

How to improve communication skills - with a new colleague

When we meet a new colleague, ideally we want to have a good working relationship. The basis of this is how we start. Here are some tips:

  1. Be mindful of their position, their expectations and what they might be thinking.
  2. Show an interest in them.
  3. Offer to help them in some way.
  4. If they look like they need help during the first day, jump in with an offer.
  5. Ask them if they have all the stuff they need, like who to contact about computers etc.
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How to improve communication skills - with different personalities

When we meet someone new we sub consciously asses how well and easily we will get on with them. First all this is done through body language. We test the water with conversation and try to find areas of common interest. Because we are keen to get on with them we try different tactics. Hence see some tips below on how to improve communications skills with different personalities.

  1. Try using one of the many personality models to better understand the other person. Read more on personalities on our page.
  2. Ask open questions about them. Open questions are those which give the other person freedom as to how they choose to answer. Examples include; ‘How did you come be working at XYZ organisation?’, ‘What’s your interest in this seminar?’, ‘What do you hope to gain from this meeting?’
  3. If the person appears to be more closed and introverted make your questions more matter of fact. Try making observations of things rather than probing them at first.

How to improve communication skills - on skype

Skype, Webex and other on line conference facilities can be brilliant and they can be very frustrating.

  1. When you talk mention your name first, ‘It’s John here, so what I’d like to say is…’
  2. Prepare the system with a trial call on another day.
  3. Connect the call in good time, which may well be 15 to 20 minutes before the start.

How to improve communication skills - FREE DOWNLOAD

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How to improve communication skills - through other resources

How to improve communication skills - through training

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