5 Thoughtful Ways to Continuously Improve Your Communication

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NEW YORK—As we have all learned over time, rarely do we experience two people who have identical communication styles. If you think you know how to communicate well with everyone you work with, that may be a stretch. To become a master communicator at work and in your life, here are five smart ways you can improve your communication:

1. Check your body language: Words often say one thing, while body language conveys a completely different message to your recipient. This is especially true in communication between a team leader and a staff member. Pay attention to “cues and clues” that will tip you off to mixed messages.

2. Follow through on commitments: If you say you are going to do something, then do it. If something seems impossible, qualify your commitment so there is no misunderstanding. Maybe you cannot finish a project within a specific time frame, but failing to come through on a promise will only make you less credible and unreliable, either to your staff member if you are the team leader, or to your team leader if you are a staff member.

3. Keep a list: Do not burden your team or peers with endless emails. Keep a list and check for timeliness or follow-up before emailing others.

4. Dial your communications to your recipient: Everyone has their preferences when it comes to office communication. Some like to talk in person or by phone, while some like emails and a simple message. Pay attention to the ways your team members prefer to communicate or feel free to ask them the method of communication they prefer.

5. Strive to be better at listening: Simply stated, listen better. Do not interrupt, and do not preoccupy yourself about what you are going to say and then zone out. When it’s your turn to talk, take your time and respond to the things that you actually heard.

Hedley Lawson, Contributing Editor
Managing Partner
Aligned Growth Partners, LLC
(707) 217-0979
hlawson@alignedgrowth.com
www.alignedgrowth.com