Effective communication skills is not rocket science, yet it is rarely done well. Focusing on a few key skills can make a real difference. The benefits to using these skills is that employees will understand more clearly what you are requesting of them. You will gain additional needed information from others and you can demonstrate that you understand what others are expressing to you.
- Be Specific - Describe Specific Behavior
- Question - Use effective questioning techniques
Open-Ended Questions - Open-ended questions are those that cannot be answered by a "yes" or "no". They generally begin with who, what, where, why, when, how, etc. Open-ended questions give others the most freedom to answer and encourages the other person to provide the most information.
Closed-Ended Questions - Closed-ended questions control or limit responses to generate or verify more specific information. They can usually be answered by "yes" or "no", or may ask for a choice between stated alternatives. They are helpful in a conversation when you want to gain closure or guide the conversation in a specific direction.
- Listen - Use Listening Skills
There is more to being a good listener than just not talking. The fundamental principles for being an effective listener are:
- Be receptive to what the other person is saying without becoming defensive.
- Accept the other's viewpoint as his/her own. Don't judge or evaluate it.
- Keep focused on what the individual is saying without changing the subject.
One effective listening skill is paraphrasing. It involves summarizing in your own words what the other person has said. When paraphrasing, do not show approval or disapproval. Merely restate what you heard the other say.
- Appreciate and Affirm
Showing appreciation doesn't need to cost a company a lot of money. A lot of times a simple "thank you" can make all the difference. For special occasions try a written note or public recognition of the employee.\
How to Learn More
Download our free whitepaper on "The Winning Edge: Hidden DISCoveries That Set You Apart". This will provide you with additional information to understand your behavioral style and that of others to communicate better.