Sunday, July 24, 2016

Communication Skills by Stephen L. Brayton

I plan to do a series of blogs on my own blog site on the following points in regards to a more personal matter, but I thought I’d throw these out here with a brief discussion.

I received these at work in an email. The email wasn’t sent to me alone, it went company wide, and I think it could be of interest and assistance to nearly everybody, including authors. These are a list of communication skills to have when in social settings. I think they’re interesting.

1. Watch body language. Watch how others are reacting to what you say? Watch how you stand/sit when speaking to others. Are your arms crossed? Is the other person not making eye contact but looking away as if bored and wanting to move on to somebody else? If you’re speaking to a group, it should be easy to figure out if they’re paying attention to your words.

2. Avoid Unnecessary Talk Fillers. Don’t babble. Stay on point. Don’t say something just to say something.

3. Have a Script for Small Talk. If you’re just casually conversing and miscellaneous topic pop up, keep one or two points ready when specific points come up. That way you avoid #2.

4. Tell a Story. Have an anecdote. Keep it short and keep on point. Relate a personal story or one someone shared with you that relates to the topic at hand.

5. Ask Questions and Repeat the Other Person. I enjoy conversing with foreigners. I will question them until the cows come home if allowed. Repeating the other person shows that you’ve heard the answer and might have a follow up question or be able to exhibit #3 or #4.

6. Remove Distractions. Basically turn off the cell phone. No texting and talking. A few others might come to mind, but I think this is a biggie distraction.

7. Tailor Your Message to Your Audience. Keep on point and keep the message relevant to the situation. I tend to veer off onto other points when teaching martial arts and I need to stay on point. Also keep in mind your audience. What are their needs and can you speak to them about those needs?

8. Be brief, be specific. Review #2 and #3.

9. Up Your Empathy. If you’re speaking to an audience and they have questions, bring that question down to a personal level and relate it to your experience. Don’t come off as if you know all the answers and this problem never bothered you. See #4 and show how the question/problem was answered/solved when you experienced it.

10. Listen. Really Listen. Don’t just hear the person, listen. Listen to names when introduced. Listen to their story and don’t just be waiting to throw your words into the mix. Look at them when they speak. Review #5 and #6.

Many of these points cross over and that’s okay because you may have to one to do another and both will be beneficial. Try out these points today and see how different your relationships are, how new windows of opportunity may open, and how much fun you can have speaking to an individual or a group.


Beryl Reichenberg said...

Great pointers. I have an acquaintance who takes without stopping or taking a breath. I find it difficult to be around her. We can all learn from your post. Beryl

Eileen Obser said...

Very good post, Stephen. We never can know enough about how we're communicating in a proper, pleasant manner. Guidelines like this should be looked at over and over -- and passed on to other writers, which I will do.

Lorna Collins - said...

Good reminders, Stephen.