15 Tips To Improve Your Communication

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Good communication is essential towards any high quality relationship. Here are 15 quick and simple tips that you can use to help build your communication skills.

1. Maintain Eye Contact While Speaking

Eye contact lets the person you are conversing with know that you’re interested in what they have to say. It shows confidence, signals trustworthiness, and demonstrates a level of understanding. So, the next time you are having a conversation, make sure to maintain steady eye contact and avoid looking away in other directions frequently.

2. Show Sincere Interest

People love to talk about themselves. If someone you are talking to is excited or concerned about something going on in their life, let them talk about it! Dive right into what they’re saying and show sincere interest by asking for more details rather than switching the focus back onto yourself. Doing this will help you build a closer bond, increase your likability, and give you the positive reputation of being a great listener.

3. Smile More

It may sound cliché, but smiling really does make a tremendous difference in how others perceive you. When you approach conversations with a big smile, the person you are talking to will actually respond more positively on a neurological level, forming an instant connection. This simple trick can drastically improve your ability to communicate. Give it a try by making a conscious effort to smile a few times during your next conversation.

4. Use More Positive Affirmations

Simply saying “I am so grateful for our friendship.” or “Seeing you really makes my day better.” can make a world of a difference. Positive affirmations help remind the other person that they are important to you and are especially effective when used in long term relationships. This gives the other person a sense that they have a meaningful role in your world.

5. Consider Your Tone of Voice

Speaking at a slightly slower pace than your conversation partner is proven to make you seem more likable. On the other hand, using your voice to put emphasis on emotional responses can make you seem more animated and interesting.

6. Always Wait Your Turn To Talk

Nothing is worse than talking to someone who is always interrupting you. Instead of butting into what the other person is saying, or opening and closing your mouth to signal that you’d like to talk, just wait your turn. This type of behavior can come off as rude and arrogant.

7. Keep An Open Posture

Your body language can speak louder than your words at times. That’s why it’s important to display a body posture that helps make you more likable. To do this, relax your muscles throughout your shoulders and jawline, keep your arms open, and avoid placing any barriers between you and your conversation partner (such as folded arms or a cushion).

8. Ask Open Questions

Good conversationalists ask open ended questions that allow for fluid conversation. Open questions leave space for the other person to think out-loud and encourage a longer response. Some examples are, “How do you spend most of your time?” or “What made you pursue your current career?”. On the other hand, closed questions that only leave room for a "yes” or “no” answer generally make you seem less interested in what the other person has to say.

9. Keep Your Face Movement Lively

An expressive face (along with hand gestures) shows interest and makes you appear more charismatic. If you’re curious, ecstatic, amazed, or amused make sure to show it!

10. Ask For Explanations 

When you don’t fully understand something or want to learn more, ask for explanations. This indicates that you believe the other person is intelligent and will make them feel valued. It also demonstrates that you’ve been actively listening and are intrigued by the topic they’ve been talking about.

11. Read Between The Lines

Try to tune into the emotions behind what’s being verbally spoken. For example, if someone is talking about a big project at work, say something like “Wow, I can imagine how stressed you must be.” Addressing the emotion behind the words can make you seem insightful and appreciated.

12. Ask For Advice

Asking another person for advice makes them feel valued and trusted. It shows that their opinion is important to you. This works especially well in the workplace.

13. Display Gratitude

Let people know how thankful you are when they do something for you. This will make them feel respected. When someone feels like they are respected, they will return the respect back to you.

14. Summarize What You’ve Heard

Paraphrasing or summarizing what the other person just said proves that you’ve been listening and shows that you understand the topic at hand. This is good to do when the other person has been talking in depth for an extended period of time.

15. Be Authentic

People will generally not like you if you come across as fake or inauthentic, regardless of how many communication techniques you use. When you are communicating, let your true self show and others will respond positively!

Want to learn how to communicate better? Work with a talk therapist.