According to LinkedIn Learning, communication skills are the number one skill gap across major cities in NYC. Here are three easy ways to start getting ahead of the curve:
Listen more than you talk
Too often we talk more than we listen, and unfortunately, we often spend more time thinking about what we’re going to say next versus listening! Do yourself and everyone you interact with a favor: spend more time listening than speaking.
It’s stunning what you start to notice when you start listening more. People are constantly talking over one another, repeating what has just been said, adding to a point that is already dead and buried – all because so many people are agenda orientated, and believe that their opinion and thought is the most important in the room. Sometimes it is! A lot of the time, it isn’t. Aim to listen twice as much as you talk.
And Instead of But
When you’re having a conversation, avoid the word ‘But’ when you’re inserting your opinion. The word ‘But’ not only pits ideas against one another, it also elevates one over another. For example:
I know you want pizza for dinner, but I want salad.
You’ve elevated your own needs above the person you’re talking to.
When you use the word ‘And’ you are linking the two together – you’re not agreeing with the other person: you’re simply weighing them the same.
Try to substitute And for But whenever you can and see what happens!
Mind Your Non Verbals
Your body tells your story more than your words: 55% of understanding comes from body language! Take some time to make sure you’ve unclenched your butt, you’re not crossing your arms or legs, and you’re making clear eye contact.