Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills

Being able to communicate effectively – inside or outside of the office – is a critical life skill to learn. But, unfortunately, many people do not put an adequate amount of effort into improving their communication skills due to various reasons ranging from busy schedules to being comfortable with the way they communicate and allocating their time learning different professional skills. However, communication is one of the most important skills to learn continuously throughout your own life and should be prioritized over most other skills. Here are some ways you can learn to communicate more effectively:

Alan Rasof effective-communication-clip-art-20367

First, body language is crucial when it comes to communicating well with others. Whether you’re having a personal conversation with your significant other about your relationship, or you’re giving a presentation in front of your entire office, the way you position your body can play a large role in how well others interpret what you’re saying. For example, if you tell your partner that you are willing to hear what he or she has to say, but your arms are crossed and you are avoiding making eye contact, he or she will probably assume that you really aren’t willing to listen. In addition, if you are in a work environment, standing up straight and using appropriate hand gestures every so often will help you seem confident and will give the audience the perception that you are able to persuade your audience and know exactly what you are speaking towards.

Alan Rasof communicating

On the other hand, if you are slouching and positioning your body away from the audience, your work peers and advisors will probably get the impression that you do not want to intellectually involve your audience, and could even put your career in a sticky situation. That being said, body language is key for effectively communicating. In order to improve it, work on a “power pose” that you are comfortable with that will help boost your confidence before a presentation at work. In addition, develop strong eye contact with whoever you are speaking to so they know you are engaged and serious.

Another way to improve your communication skills is to ask questions and repeat information that was given to you. Many times, we zone out during conversations, which is perfectly normal. But, in order to stay focused on what other people are saying, make an effort to ask questions pertaining to what they are talking about – and better yet, repeating the last few words of a sentence will further indicate that you are listening effectively and actually care about what they are saying.

Alan Rasof leader

According to an article published by Lifehacker.com, asking questions and repeating phrases has many benefits to help improve your communication skills:

“It also helps for small talk and to fill in awkward silences. Instead of trying to stir up conversation on mundane topics like the weather, ask the other person questions (eg.g., ‘Got any plans for the summer?’ or ‘What are you reading lately?’) and engage in their answers. It’s more important to be interested than to be interesting,” (Pinola, Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills).

Lastly, living in this technologically advanced world, we are often distracted by our cell phones, ipads, fitbits, beepers, buzzers, and what have you – so please, when you’re having a conversation – put them away. There’s nothing worse than going out to a restaurant and watching dozens of adolescents and adults fixated to their phones and not having any conversation at all. Let’s face it – it’s just rude. So put away your distractions and look up at the person you’re talking to, this could help our communication skills vastly as a larger population.

 

Tips for Owning a Successful Business

Alan Rasof business tipsOwning, and growing, a successful business is not as easy as you may think. Many people have great business ideas but don’t know the correct ways to go about running a business so that it can reach successful expectations. From product placement to employee satisfaction, there are many things that contribute to owning a successful business. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

First, never underestimate the power of organization. Organization helps everyone in your business to stay focused and complete tasks so that the company can grow. According to an article published by Investopedia.com: “A good way to do this is to create a to-do list each day – as you complete each item, check it off your list. This will ensure that you’re not forgetting anything and you’re completing all the tasks that are essential to the survival of your business,” (9 Tips for Growing a Successful Business).

Alan Rasof communicationAnother great business tip, that goes along with staying organized, is to keep detailed records of important information, especially finances. This will help you recognize if your business is meeting expectations, growing, or falling behind financially. Keeping track of expenses is vital when it comes to maintaining a strong business.

In addition to staying organized and recording vital expenses, providing great service is one of the best ways to run a successful business, and this starts with effective client communication. Though you’ll find that many employees will be more apt to focus on their own work and tasks for any given day, make sure that as part of their training process your stress the importance of maintaining great relationships with clients. This is one of the most important factors to become a growing, successful business. If you are a company that is known for its excellent services, your clients will not only choose you in comparison to other companies, but they’ll recommend you to friends and family. Always go above and beyond to meet client expectations and surprise them with generosity.

Lastly, make sure to be consistent. According to Investopedia.com, “Consistency is a key component to making money in business. You have to consistently keep doing the things necessary to be successful day in and day out,” (9 Tips for Growing a Successful Business). Consistency will help you create positive habits that will ensure money growth over a longer period of time. Though most people who are starting their own businesses want to make money right away from the start, it’s more important to think of the long-term goals and what it takes to grow a successful business.

For more business tips, please check out Investopedia.com’s article here.