5 Keys to Improving Your Professional Communication Skills

Posted by Chris Clothier on Wed, Sep 30, 2015

Memphis Invest - Real Estate Investing in Memphis


There’s power in a good communicator. Everyonereal estate investing knows one — that person that everyone else just seems to gravitate towards. You enjoy being around them. They make you feel heard and valued while saying just the right things to the right people.  Real estate investing is no different.  

There are great communicators that seem to be able to articulate the perfect message and explain how to do certian things perfectly.  They hold an audience at every real estate investors meeting and always have stories of how they handled the angry tenant or reluctant seller.

Good communicators are crafted, not born (though some inherent traits certainly help). When it comes to the business world, sharpening your professional communication skills can be key in opening up opportunities and polishing your reputation.

5 Keys to Crafting Excellent Professional Communication Skills

  1. Learn How to Listen

Most of us tend to go about conversations the wrong way. When we’re listening, instead of trying to take everything in and understand, we too often are formulating how we’re going to respond. This leads to problems like misinterpretation, jumping to conclusions, poor memory and otherwise “missing the point” of what was said. We all would do well to learn how to listen better.

Remember:

  • Focus on the speaker. Repeat what they’re saying mentally if you have trouble focusing. Avoid distractions like phones, daydreaming or preemptively planning your reply.

  • Avoid interrupting or one-upsmanship. In other words, don’t redirect a person’s story or experience to focus on you — you may end up offending them by diminishing their success or struggles with your own. It comes off as egocentric and insensitive at best.

  • Conversations are not simply waiting for your turn to talk.

  1. Mind Nonverbal Communication

Not everyone is schooled in nonverbal cues. These can range everything to how a person stands, moves, and gestures, as well as things like eye contact and facial expressions. Don’t judge a person’s attitude by one cue, but instead look at cues as a whole to determine their state. If they seem uncomfortable, angry, hostile, excited, upset or what have you, adjust your approach accordingly.

  1. Find Confidence in Asserting Yourself

While there’s a fine line between assertive and aggressive, we’ll give you a simple definition of being assertive: valuing yourself. A professional pitfall for many is downplaying what they have to offer, either in words or in body language. Value yourself. Learn how to communicate your needs and emotions in a respectful, tactful manner that doesn’t alienate or invite others to take advantage of you.

  1. Keep Your Audience in Mind

People from other cultural backgrounds communicate differently. When it comes to professional communication with international connections, mind the differences in verbal and nonverbal cues that may arise with thoughtful respect. Seek to understand and accommodate the cultural backgrounds and emotional state of those around you. Here, research ahead of time can be extremely valuable.

  1. Mind Your Body Language

In any professional communication, whether a business meeting or a networking event, your body language is of great importance. We often express ourselves without thinking and must be mindful of negative body language (folding our arms, crossing our legs with the foot pointed towards the door, avoiding eye contact, flippant gestures, and so on) or nonverbal cues that don’t match up with our tone and words. Your body language can inspire confidence as much as mistrust.

Have you ever made a communicative faux pas?  Share what you learned from the experience in the comments.

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image credit: Sebastien Wiertz

 

Topics: professionalism and courtesy