Communication skills are one of the most sought-after traits in the sales industry. Every manager wants to hire an effective communicator who is confident (both verbally and in writing) pitching, building relationships and really getting their message across.
And, whilst there are a number of different communication styles, from Warren Buffett's patient authoratitive speech, to Elon Musk’s eccentric and gregarious approach to business, it’s worth noting that whatever your style, there are key elements shared by good communicators.
Below is a brief selection of carefully compiled Pareto tips to help you perfect your communication skills and get your message across effectively.
If you are looking to improve your communication skills for business, Pareto’s Negotiation Skills course has been designed to help you take control of negotiation situations by understanding the importance of communication and how to speak effectively with clients and suppliers to put forward a strong business case for your end goal.
1. How to Become an Engaged Listener
The goal of communication is to fully understand and connect with the other person.
You should focus fully on the speaker and let them know you are interested in what they are saying. Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns. There is nothing more testing than beginning a conversation to be cut off by an irrelevant point of the other person.
Try to set all your judgement aside, whatever the topic and your viewpoints, you should remain neutral.
2. Your Body Language is as Important as What You Say
You can tell a lot about someone from their body language - and a lot more about their feelings towards a conversation that what they say!
To an expert communicator, body language is as crucial as their speaking skills, and is a tool that you can definitely use to an advantage to your conversation.
During a positive conversation or negotiation, you can enhance it by having your arms uncrossed and maintaining eye contact. If you need to emphasise a certain point, body language can play its part here too - patting your friend on the back if you are proud of them or clasping your hands together in order to close a point of conversation and move on.
3. Controlling Your Emotions
It is key in communication not to let your emotions get the better of you.
If you are stressed or the topic in question is making you tense, you need to let it go. You need to keep calm under pressure.
If you need to stall a conversation in order to give yourself time to get your emotions in check, ask a question to afford yourself more time to think and for opening up another avenue of conversation.
Pausing can be a really effective communication skill for keeping calm. Whilst some people may believe the break works against you, it can work in your favour and allow you to navigate the conversation effectively.
4. Assertion is an Asset
Being assertive is a powerful communication skill and is key in improving your negotiation skills.
To improve assertiveness you should primarily know your wants and needs, and equally those of your counterpart. What do you both want to gain from this conversation?
You should value your opinions and remember they are just as important as anyone else’s – effective communication is a two way street. Learning to say no is key to being assertive.
You should be aware of your own boundaries and feel comfortable saying no to what you don’t agree with and feel confident in your ability to handle conflict this may create.
5. The Power of the Personal Touch
In today’s age it’s very hard to keep up with personal communication over technology. Most people find it easier to communicate via email, text or social media.
However, you should never forget the importance of communication in person or on phone.
Having a conversation and making a point in person is the best way to communicate effectively and without falling into any pitfalls of misconstrued text and email.
Before sending the email just think, could you meet up and say it? If the answer is yes, do this - don’t underestimate the benefit of a personal touch in any negotiation.
Communication skills are vital to both work and personal life so you should try and perfect them whenever you can!
Remember, if you're interested in developing your communication skills for business, book your place on Pareto’s Negotiation Skills course.