As a professional communicator, you’re probably good at explaining your ideas to a large audience. You know how to speak clearly, use correct grammar and syntax, and keep your emotions in check — all traits that make for an effective public speaker or writer. However, there are other ways of communicating with people that require different skills. For instance, there are group settings like meetings or presentations in which everyone is sitting together and listening to each other’s ideas. In one-on-one conversations, two people may be focused on each other. In online discussions, participants may not see one another but their words and intonation must convey their feelings accurately. Communication also occurs per text messages sent through social media platforms like Facebook Messenger or Twitter Direct Messages (DMs).
In group settings
You should be aware of how you are communicating within the group. Are you being heard? Are you talking too much? There is a difference between speaking and listening in a group setting. If someone has been speaking for some time and you want to respond, hold off until they finish their thought. This will ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak without interruption. What you say should be received by the entire group before proceeding further in your own thoughts or ideas on the topic at hand. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something does not make sense; this may also help others understand!
If a member of the group is struggling, offer to help them
If a member of the group is struggling, offer to help them. However, be careful not to overstep your boundaries or assume that you know what they need. It’s always best to ask how you can help and then either do it yourself or ask whether they’d like your assistance.
Speak in descriptive terms so that everyone can understand your point
The more you describe things, the more people will be able to understand and remember what you’re talking about. When you use abstract terms, it’s harder for people to visualize what you mean. Use examples and analogies whenever possible to make your point clearer. Concrete language is clearer than jargon; don’t assume that everyone understands the technical words or phrases specific to your field of work or study. If a word doesn’t have an exact meaning, try explaining it first before using the correct term – but always give the correct term!
Be mindful when you’re interrupting someone
Be mindful of when it is appropriate to interrupt someone. You should never interrupt someone talking with someone else, or listen to someone else speak, as this could be considered rude and disrespectful. You should also avoid interrupting when the person is thinking or doing something else that requires their complete attention, such as studying or working on a project. Finally, you shouldn’t interrupt people when they’re sleeping − this can also make other people uncomfortable.
Address uncomfortable topics by directly stating what’s going on
If you’re uncomfortable or nervous, do communicate this directly. Let the other person know that your discomfort is not about them and that you want to do everything possible to get through the situation. Use ‘I’ statements instead of ‘you’ statements. For example:
- I feel uncomfortable talking about money.
- This conversation is making me feel uncomfortable; I would like to change topics now.
Keep your language positive, even if you don’t agree with what someone’s saying
It’s about encouraging people to speak their minds, even if you disagree with what they have to say.
- Be careful not to be too negative. Keep your language focused on the positive aspects of the person or situation at hand, rather than on what is wrong or what could go wrong.
- Use positive language to encourage people in situations where they might otherwise be afraid to speak up or offer ideas and suggestions. This can also help prevent ‘groupthink’ (when everyone agrees for fear of being unpopular) from occurring in meetings and in brainstorming sessions. Such can lead people down unproductive paths.
- Don’t use sarcasm or put-downs when talking about a subject with someone who holds views differing from yours. Instead, try using phrases like “I understand” or “Tell me more”. You want them urgently to reconsider their position; however, do not make them first feel personally attacked (which would likely cause an argument). Pick up some tips from these articles: How to Deal with Someone Who Has a Different Opinion than Yours; How to Discuss Politics with Someone you disagree with in a Polite Way; How to Be Diplomatic When You Disagree with Someone about Politics without Being an Asshole.
In one-on-one conversations
When you’re talking with a friend or colleague, ask questions that require more than one-word answers. For example:
- “Do you want to go to lunch?”
- “What do you want to eat?”
- “Which is your favorite restaurant?”
These questions will initiate a conversation about the topic at hand. You can also encourage your friend or colleague to talk more by asking them follow-up questions such as:
- “How often do you go there?” (to learn more about their preferences)
- “Why is that?” (to understand their reasoning behind their preferences)
Use open-ended questions, but stay focused
When you want to get to know someone better and understand their thoughts, emotions, and experiences, open-ended questions are always effective. Open-ended questions allow the other person to talk more about themselves and express their feelings. They’re also great for gaining feedback on your ideas or plans without making assumptions or generalizations about how people might respond. These types of questions are particularly helpful in one-on-one conversations in which both parties have a chance to speak freely: “What was it like growing up in Japan?” “How would you describe your ideal date?” And such questions can be even more effective when used in group settings where everyone has the same opportunity of sharing their opinions: “What do you think of this article/book?” “Where do you see yourself living in five years’ time?”
Keep it impersonal — never be critical or judgmental
If you have a problem with someone, don’t get personal. You may be dealing with someone old-fashioned or stubborn, but that’s not your business. If you are unable to offer your opinion when asked and are unable to do so without being critical or judgmental, at least show respect for the individual’s feelings. If you are working on something together, don’t assume that the other person knows what you know — he or she may not understand your terminology, and will interpret it differently than the way it was intended. Never take anything personally! It isn’t about you; it’s about them and what they mean when they say something—or how they act. Don’t try to interpret the motives behind actions. This can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings − instead, focus on what is actually said rather than what wasn’t said (or implied).
Let the other person know when you completely understand their position and feelings
When you’re in a situation of wanting to be sure the other person completely understands your position, it’s best to avoid being either too positive, too negative, or too neutral. You also want to avoid being critical and judgmental. Lastly, don’t go for condescension either. People on both sides of an argument must feel heard by those involved, thus presenting a solution that works best for everyone.
Online discussions assist you to meet new people and share information. In communicating effectively. Here are some tips:
- Use emoticons to express your emotions. For example, if you’re happy, use a smiley face 🙂 or if you’re sad, use a frowny face :-(.
- Use winky faces to indicate that something is meant in jest (e.g. “I’m joking” :)).
- Use sad faces when appropriate (e.g. saying goodbye :().
Emphasize the importance of face-to-face interaction in creating a friendly environment online
One of the best ways of building a friendly environment online is to emphasize the importance of face to face interaction. The internet is a great tool. However, nothing substitutes for an in-person meeting. When you meet someone in person, there are many unspoken signals that help you feel more comfortable around them and build trust. This doesn’t happen on the internet − everything has to be spelled out explicitly. By making sure people have opportunities for face-to-face interaction, you can help create an environment in which everyone feels welcome and connected with one another.
‘Lost in translation’
Remember that different cultures use different communication styles and meanings, some of which may be ‘lost in translation’ on the internet because emotions cannot be expressed equally well online as in person. Online communication is not as effective as face-to-face communication. People should be careful when communicating online because it is easy to misunderstand someone’s tone or intention, especially when engaging with someone of a different language or cultural background.
You should communicate clearly and effectively no matter how large or small the audience
Communication is one of the most important aspects of life. It is important everywhere including at work. In a business setting, communication can lead to better relationships with clients and coworkers alike. In personal relationships, clear communication will help you build stronger bonds with your friends and family members. Even small talk with strangers on public transportation can lead to new friendships! Communication skills are essential in social settings as well; they allow us to connect with others, and make them feel comfortable around us so that we can get along better together!
It’s just as important for professionals who want to advance their careers through networking events or conferences (or even just by interacting more effectively within their own organizations). Professionals need these skills because they have bigger goals: if people don’t understand what we’re trying to explain about our ideas or proposals, there’s no way we’ll be able to convince anyone else about them either!
We all have different communication styles. In a group setting with someone not speaking clearly, don’t judge them! Instead, try to understand where they’re coming from; and speak more clearly yourself. In one-on-one conversations or online discussions, keep your language positive no matter what the topic — even if it’s uncomfortable or controversial. This will help create an environment in which people feel comfortable sharing their ideas without being judged based on their tone of voice or word choice: this can also happen in person!