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What people are talking about at the summit: How Can You Communicate Effectively?

Casey Mazzotti

June 20, 2021

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Communication is key in so many aspects of life - in work and in relationships, particularly. There's always talk about the need to communicate effectively, but what are the strategies you can use to develop effective communication that you can use in or outside the workplace?

Below are some ways in which you can challenge and build your communication skills:

Be an active listener

Being a good listener doesn't simply mean staying quiet while another person talks. It moreso means listening to understand, and acknowledging what you think you heard the other person say.

To be an active listener, you'll need to show interest, whether verbal or non-verbal, in what the person is saying and refrain from interruptions. Typically, active listening is not fast or hurried - it is intentional, and it often means listening intently enough that you would be able to repeat back to the other person the core of what they just said.

You'll want to create a safe space for the person to share whatever they feel they'd like to share, judgement-free. In short, to be an active listener, stay present in the conversation, don't interrupt, and listen to understand rather than respond.

Be Respectful of Others

Saying what you mean to say is imperative in effectively communicating - however, you can't simply go around being blunt and crass and call it effective communication. Being clear about expectations in a respectful manner to others helps set everyone up for success - people around you know what you're looking for, and hopefully, they feel respected and heard in the process.

Build a teamwork-oriented environment

Working with others can be difficult at times, sure. That's just a part of the working world - it's unrealistic to expect you'll always be able to work alone or only with people you know you work well with. Setting up a good team environment might help - empower those working around you, be respectful of them and their work, and create a safe space to facilitate discussion amongst the team. To keep expectations clear, you can use an agenda during meetings and make your meetings structured with a purpose. Keep everyone in the loop, as well.

All in all, try to be a present, active listener; be respectful of those around you and include them and their opinions in a safe environment for discussions. These are just some of the strategies you can use to help bolster your communication in work and life. To learn more about communication skills, check out our Summit talk - #262 - Three Secrets to Successfully Communicate in Times of Chaos and Uncertainty. You can register for the Summit here.

Sources:

Developing Effective Communication Skills. (2007). Journal of oncology practice, 3(6), 314–317. https://doi.org/10.1200/JOP.0766501

Jahromi, V. K., Tabatabaee, S. S., Abdar, Z. E., & Rajabi, M. (2016). Active listening: The key of successful communication in hospital managers. Electronic physician, 8(3), 2123–2128. https://doi.org/10.19082/2123

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