Today, January 23, is Better Business Communication Day. In honour of this day, here are a few simple techniques to improve communication in the professional setting.
1. Give the speaker your undivided attention: Avoid looking at your watch or checking your phone, and listen without interruption. Do not finish the speaker’s sentence or complete his thought.
2. Observe the speaker’s body language and tone of voice to help you understand what he or she is thinking and feeling.
3. Pause to process what was said and give thought to how you respond.
4. Consider your tone of voice, facial expression, and body language as you speak.
5. Be truthful and non-judgmental, and validate the feelings of others. Demonstrate kindness, compassion, courtesy, and respect in the words you choose.
These techniques lead to mindful communication, the practice of focusing awareness on the present moment through mindful listening and mindful speaking.
A speaker who feels truly heard will perceive the listener as more likeable and trustworthy. Focus on these techniques in your professional conversations this week, and see if you can build stronger business relationships!