You know how important it is to speak with clarity and confidence in a professional setting, but how much attention do you pay to your listening skills? Communication is a two-way street, and effective listening can make or break an interaction. Take a look at these four tips to sharpen your listening skills and up your professional communication game:
- Body Language: Your body language can tell your partner a lot about how involved you are in the conversation. Face the speaker with your whole body, and occasionally acknowledge their speech with non-verbal gestures like nodding when appropriate. Avoid crossing your arms; it can make you appear hostile and closed off.
- Eye Contact: As a listener, you should maintain eye contact slightly more than you would while speaking. However, to avoid staring too intently, break your gaze periodically by shifting your eyes to the side, and then immediately reestablishing eye contact. Eye contact will also help you to pick up on your partner’s non-verbal cues!
- Ask for Clarification: If you don’t fully understand the point your partner is making, politely stop them and ask for clarification. It will prevent misunderstandings down the road, and shows your partner that you are genuinely interested in their message.
- Pay Attention! Too often people simply wait for their turn to speak in a conversation instead of really giving their conversation partner their full attention. By devoting your full attention to what the other person is saying, you’ll improve the content of your end of the conversation as well, and convey to the other person that you value what they have to say. Also, resist the urge to glance at your phone for any reason. It gives the impression that you’re bored, impatient, or not fully invested in the conversation.
Do your professional communication skills need improvement? Let us help you make your speech and communication your most powerful professional tool! For information on the New York Based Speech and Accent Reduction services offered by Corporate Speech Solutions please give us a call at 212-308-7725 or visit us on the web at www.corporatespeechsolutions.com. Not in NYC? No problem! We also provide Skype and video conferencing services.
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