Proven Ways to Improve Communication Skills
An old subject but one still so relevant today is the critical skill of improving communication. Whether in the workplace or outside, we are human beings who need to connect for survival and beyond. Hence the need for communication.
With globalisation, migration has exploded and organisations find themselves with the huge problem of integrating employees to speak a common language of influence.
Many years ago when I was a bank employee, I recall communication problems at work. It took an amazing boss to mediate and keep calm in the midst of controversy, to bring everyone down to a common platform. Today this skill is called coaching.
I never realised how I would journey from the serious world of Treasury to becoming an Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer. Many people who met me labelled me as a natural communicator.
Taking heed of the common feedback I was receiving, and understanding communication problems at work, I had a calling to fill this gap. Many years later, I realised that the focus to improve productivity fell snug into this pocket of work I had entered.
It was a new world to be on the other side of the business world as an NLP trainer. I began training, coaching and facilitating in large organisations, a context I knew so well.
Improving communication skills came up with every client. People were fundamentally speaking at cross angles to each other and understandably so. With multi-cultural teams, many had come from different backgrounds.
Filters like language, memories, values and beliefs gave rise to different meanings. So the job I had was to equalise this with an objective to improve productivity.
I knew I had the upper hand as I was skilled to be an NLP trainer, with a box of self-management tools. These basically took the form of change models which were powerful.
I steered away from content – giving advice and judging who was right or wrong. Instead I shared NLP models that showed employees how to resolve conflict for instance, by coming up with their own answers.
This started to become very powerful when employees used the models themselves and applied them to the workplace. More and more they used the language of influence and achieved results.
As time went on, they worked on deeper conflicts comfortably and found communication problems at work dissipating. It was heartening to note that everyone in the team was trained in NLP models hence they knew how to help each other too.
Reminders came along from team mates which reinforced each other’s learning. This then progressively became the norm and eventually the company culture.
Without any focus on the need to improve productivity, this naturally became the result. As communication skills improved in the workplace, so did productivity. This direct relationship was evident.
As an NLP Trainer my proven ways to improve communication skills are;
With the use of social media adding to communication problems at work, this is also a huge dimension to be aware of. The tips above still apply, in fact even more so.
When in doubt or conflict, bring the situation right back to the personal touch. Eradicating conflict has a better chance when done with voice as tonality helps iron out issues.
Pay attention to intonation which is a great hint for a manager when in conversation. Too often I have met managers who are out to get the technical job done without any attention to how the team member is speaking.
This is how I help managers as an NLP trainer. I teach them the nuances of language and help them tune in to their five senses. The expressions on a person’s face and tonality associated screams information for the receiver, which unfortunately is left unnoticed many a time.
I also share the language of influence and how to use it for reduced communication problems at work. Most managers find they improve communication skills from such courses, when they attend.
At the end of the day, every organisation is focused on methods to improve productivity but fail to recognise that it is only with relevant tools that managers can rise to the task at hand.
Having seen and worked in so many organisations, my take as an NLP trainer is that there is a lot of money left on the table when managers are ill-equipped. The faster managers improve communication skills, the faster it impacts bottom line results.
It’s the way to go!