Nobody decides to be a poor communicator. They become ineffective through neglect. Instead of mindful, intentional communication, they adopt clichés and platitudes to get them by on far too many occasions:
Throwaway lines like these are harmless enough (as long as they’re true!). But to stand out as a great communicator, selecting the best words, approaches and processes to get your message across can make a significant difference in how others judge your competence.
To succeed in 2021 and beyond, stick to these 21 timeless principles of excellent communication:
1. Be real. Let authenticity form the core of every conversation, coaching session, correspondence, or encounter. Connect on a human level. Be approachable, empathetic, and transparent.
2. Listen attentively to what others say to you. Not just the facts but the feelings and intentions behind the facts.
3. Verify assumptions. Including yours and those of others. Ask people questions about what you’ve said to verify that they actually walk away with the conclusion you intend.
4. Guide discussions with strategic, open-ended questions. Rather than declarative statements that imply you have all the answers.