How to Improve Personal Communication

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When it comes to communicating person to person, your career and relationships can be negatively impacted if you don't know how to interact. Poor personal communication can lead to hurt feelings and driving others away. Developing a plan to improve your personal communication can allow you to be more successful in your career and relationships. You can bring others closer to you and find a greater sense of connection with those around you. Follow these simple steps to improve your personal communication.

  • Find out what the other person wants. Talk with the other person on a regular basis about his goals, dreams and purpose in life. Be genuinely interested in his responses and ask questions for clarification. Make a list of what the other person is looking for, and brainstorm some ways in which you could help him achieve his goals.

  • Make a list of what you want to talk about with the other person before you engage in a conversation. Write down specific questions and refer to them as you talk so that you can keep your communication purposeful and on task.

  • Don't mumble or stumble over your words. Keep a clear, direct tone of voice. Think about what you're going to say before you say it. Write down a few keywords of the conversation as you speak so that you can reference them in the discussion. Speak clearly, and articulate the points you are trying to convey with the appropriate tone and volume.

  • Show the other person that you're listening by nodding your head and making direct eye contact. Focus shows that you want to talk to the person, and the other person will see that you are interested in understanding her. Avoid fidgeting, looking away, and glancing at your watch or other distractions.

  • Review your personal communication by writing about your encounters in a journal. Write about what went well and what went less well, and how you can improve your personal communication for the next encounter. Read through older entries of your journal once a month to discover patterns in your personal communication and to identify areas where you can improve.

Tips & Warnings

  • When someone asks you a question that confuses you or that you don't know the answer to, write it down. Read the question back to yourself. Rephrase the question in your own words to the other person and ask for clarification.

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  • Photo Credit business friendship image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com
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