Business is built around relationships, and relationships are nurtured through good communication. While that communication can take so many forms in our digital age, stellar verbal communication skills remain the most important tool for building trust, conveying competence, and commanding respect.
Regardless of whether you’re communicating with clients, vendors, or potential investors, your verbal communication skills play an essential role in the outcome of the conversation. It’s not just about what you are saying, but how you are saying it.
It’s true that most of us have never given much thought about inflection and tone – we have a message and we get it out there. But what would happen to your success rate if you truly began to understand the nuances of verbal communication and how it affects your business correspondences? Here are 8 simple tips you can begin using today to improve the effectiveness of your communications.
Understand Your Personal Communication Style
We all speak differently. Some have powerful voices with direct messages, while others may lean towards being soft-spoken and more ambiguous. There are many levels in between. By uncovering your standard communication patterns, you can adjust it accordingly to address the needs of your audience. Be aware of how you are saying your message, and watch how others receive it. Analyzing who gives you a favorable response and who does not can give you some great perspective.
Identify the Styles of Others
Learning to identify the communication patterns and styles of others allows you to understand how they best receive their information. After all, a CEO who needs to be warmed up to a new concept will likely not respond favorably to terse, direct commentary. The quick secret is to mirror how they speak.
Think Before You Speak
While this may seem like common sense, many of us believe we think before speaking when in truth, we rarely do. It is a learned skill to pause for a moment to consider the words you are about to use, but it is an invaluable skill to have.
Be Effective with Your Word Choice
Being clear and concise with your wording will always be more effective than the alternative. By being deliberate with your word choices, you will benefit from less confusion, reduced ambiguity, and increased efficiency.
Speak with Confidence
If you don’t sound like you believe yourself, no one else will believe you either. However, for many professionals, it can be a challenge to speak with authority. Start experimenting with verbal confidence to see what new patterns of outcomes you see. Once you recognize that most people will trust you more when you speak in a confident tone, the easier it is to make it a habit.
Vary your Tone
Not only is a monotone voice boring to listen to, it can cause serious misunderstandings. So much of our understanding comes from verbal inflection. For example, someone can turn a statement into a sentence just by raising the tone of his voice at the end of the sentence. Embracing variety in your vocal tone will make you a more engaging and clear speaker.
Be a Good Listener
The only way to be effective at verbal communication is to truly listen to your conversation partner. Listening is about more than just hearing their words; it’s about uncovering the meaning, gleaning insights, and using that information to deliberately choose the best way to respond.
Reposition Your Message Accordingly
In listening to your conversation partner and gathering those valuable insights from his or her inflection and wording, you can observe their intentions, needs, and communication patterns. This provides you with a golden opportunity to tailor your message so that the person can receive it most effectively, resulting in a better outcome for you.
Learn from the Team at FocalPoint New Jersey
As a network of certified business coaches and consultants, we understand the impact efficient communication can have on the success of your business. Our coaches offer a variety of opportunities to grow your business communication skills. Whether your organization is looking for custom tailored workshops or you are looking for one-on-one business coaching, a FocalPoint Business Coaching of New Jersey team member is ready to help you.
If you are ready to start the conversation, contact us for a no-obligation discussion about your needs and our expertise.