zandax online course logo
Home
 
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login
Learn
Tests

6 Ways to Be a Better Communicator

From the ZandaX Communication Blog

Articles to help you improve your communications

6 Ways to Be a Better Communicator
A post from our Communication blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
What are we without good communication skills?

Communication is what helps us make good relationships. It helps us get what we want out of life. It helps us take care of the people we love. And it helps us to be successful at work.

So, what's left if we don't have good communication skills?

Let's take a friend of mine, Sam, as an example. Sam is not a good communicator. Recently he was given a line manager job at a supermarket by his father-in-law - nepotism, eh - but things are not going so well for him.

At work, Sam is in disarray. He doesn't clearly tell his team what he wants them to do, so they've started slacking off. When a customer comes to him with a question or problem, Sam doesn't show any care or empathy - so complaints have gone through the roof. And when his own boss is around, Sam gets so anxious that he blethers on endlessly about insignificant details.

How long can Sam realistically keep this job?

At home, things are possibly even worse for poor old Sam. He comes home from each hard day's work with a lot on his mind and a heavy burden on his shoulders. But instead of talking it through with his partner, he clams up and takes out his frustration on her. Now his partner is confused and wondering what has gone so wrong between them.

What a mess! And all because of a lack of communication skills.

You probably aren't as terrible a communicator as Sam. But even if you are, don't worry. We've got 6 simple, super-effective methods you can use to become a better communicator. And you can start using them today.

1. Say something useful and valuable.

Let's start with a principle that seems obvious when you read it - but which many people don't follow.

If you want to be a good communicator, you must have something valuable to say. If you aren't used to focusing on your communication, this can mean preparing in advance - at least until you improve your skills and become more confident.

In Sam's case, he needs to think harder about how to direct his team. Other examples of when it's very important to have a clear and well-thought-out message include:
  • Raising a difficult issue with your partner, a colleague or a friend
  • Giving a presentation or speech
  • Leading a project

Think carefully about what the person you're talking to needs to know. If needed, rehearse the wording in your head so you are as clear in what you're saying as possible. The more you practice, the easier it will come.

Want to Communicate More Effectively?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $109 – limited time offer just $12



2. Be a good listener.

Listen-properly


Communication is a two-way street. However well you speak, you must also listen and respond well to what others say if you're to have a productive conversation.

Take Sam. He didn't listen enough to his customers, so they started complaining. He'll probably be fired by next week.

When communicating at work or at home, make sure you...
  • Really listen to others and try to understand where they're coming from
  • Show that you're listening by giving feedback and cues, such as nodding or saying "yes" or "ok" to acknowledge what they have said
  • Consider what others say. If they ask something of you or criticise you, don't just dismiss it or get angry. Think about how you can help or improve the situation.

Listening more is an easy way to become a better communicator. Try it!

3. Work on being a calm communicator.

As we heard earlier, my friend Sam has a habit of anxiously jabbering on when trying to explain things to his boss. This isn't a good way to act in a professional environment - it doesn't inspire confidence, it's not productive, and it can be annoying!

However, we can all become agitated communicators when we feel we're in a high-pressure situation. Whether it's a disagreement with a loved one, or doing some public speaking, or having to talk with a superior we're a little bit scared of... it's easy to get worked up.

Some unfortunate side-effects of this include:
  • Getting angry or tense
  • Talking too much about nothing
  • Clamming up, so we can't say what we want to say

Be mindful of the situation you are in, and remember how important it is to stay calm. When you are calm, you can speak and take ideas on board more freely. You're also much less likely to say something you'll regret later!

Try:
  • Keeping in mind the importance of staying calm
  • Taking a deep breath, or a 5-minute break, if you find yourself getting too worked up
  • Preparing what you need to say in advance, to remove the pressure of thinking on your feet


4. Be more open

It's one thing to have strong speaking and listening skills. But what if you don't use them? What if you aren't willing to tell people how you feel, what you want from them, what you like about them, and so on?

Then pretty soon you might find yourself rather lonely!

Take Sam. He's having a pretty rough time at work. A great way for him to get his worries off his chest would be to talk to his partner about it. It would make him feel better. And he could also get another perspective on things, which might help him to perform better at work.

But what does he do instead? He clams up, creating a terrible atmosphere between himself and his partner.

Don't be like Sam. Talking to others about how your feelings, and about what you need from them, is not just a way to become a better communicator. Its essential to being a healthy human being.

Start now. If you have something worrying you, talk about it to someone you trust. If you have a co-worker who would benefit from your input, talk to them. It's not as hard as it might seem.

5. Smile.

Let's end on a really easy but really effective one.

When you smile, you project happiness and confidence. That makes the person you're talking to happy too, and it gives them more confidence in you.

Smile-More


People who smile often are more successful and happy - and they get their way more often.

6. Take decisive action

The five tips we've given so far are all useful things you can do yourself. But if you want to continue to develop advanced communication skills, you can also think about training your voice and your body language.

There are many training courses available to help you, both online and classroom-based. Either way, you'll get support and advice from communication experts and other people with the same goals as you.

It's time to make a change. You can do it.
The last time I spoke to Sam, he'd finally realised he needed to sit down with his partner and talk through all his work problems with her.

Of course, she had been completely understanding - and was really relieved to finally understand the root of all their relationship problems. Now Sam is ready to start working on his communication skills so he can get back on track at work. Maybe he'll take a course himself. I hope he does.

It's funny how one positive action can snowball into a whole new and better way of doing things. I hope this article has given you some options for taking your own path to better communication skills.

Good luck!

Want to Communicate More Effectively?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $109 – limited time offer just $12

More Recommended Articles
Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
 
 
online logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2021
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
Likeability
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?


Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Assertiveness
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?


Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management


Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback


Close menu element
Learn About:
 
Personal Development
 
Marketing
 
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio
 
 

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!   All courses are CPD certified.
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel Introduction
Microsoft Excel Professional
Microsoft Excel Intermediate
Microsoft Excel Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Powerpoint Introduction
Microsoft Powerpoint Advanced
 
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word Introduction
Microsoft Word Intermediate
Microsoft Word Advanced
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft Access Introduction
Microsoft Access Intermediate
Microsoft Access Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook Essentials
 
 
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting.
... There's lots more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this