How can I improve my communication skills

How you can improve your communication immediately

Personal skills are the most important criterion when it comes to selecting executives. This means that commitment and motivation, resilience and, above all, communication skills are even more important than technical skills, previous achievements, flexibility in terms of time or experience abroad. That shows a current study, which the Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (IW Cologne) published last week.

Communication is one of the skills that everyone really needs. It's one of the first skills we develop - simply because we need it to survive. And yet we often find it very difficult to communicate in a targeted and effective manner. At the same time, the requirements for communication are becoming more and more complex, especially when you have management tasks.

When it comes to leadership, there is no task that can be done without communication. As a manager, you should motivate, encourage and inspire. They support, set goals and share new ideas. They encourage, are sparring partners, criticize and give feedback. You ensure that your employees have the information they need to act independently. And the bigger your current challenges, the more important it is that you communicate.

3 tips for your communication skills

  1. Listen and ask questions

About the importance of listening I got in my Blog written nicely. But I cannot say often enough how important good listening is - especially in times when electronic communication is becoming more and more prevalent. Active and empathetic listening is a turbo for your communication skills and will take you a long way in your leadership. Pay attention not only to the language, but also to the tone, the emotions and the body language. Don't just perceive them, but reflect them too. And always remember that you cannot fail to communicate. Whatever you do or say, it is a form of communication.

And then there is the matter of questions. At some point in leadership training you will certainly have learned that the best way to lead is with questions. Yes, that's right. But what use are questions if you are no longer interested in the answer or, in the worst case, you are not interested in the answer at all? You can be sure that the person you are speaking to will immediately notice whether you mean business or not.

Therefore, genuine interest, active listening, and effective questions are inseparable and are the core of your communication skills.

  1. Show your presence

Regardless of whether you are the CEO of an international corporation or a young executive in your first management position: Make your presence felt. A boss who hides in his office or in countless meetings cannot lead. Of course, the demands on you depend on your role. But the basic principle is always the same. Your employees, customers, business partners and every other stakeholder should trust you and feel that they can rely on you. To do that, it's not just a matter of what you say and how you say it, but also that you do it consistently over and over again. Of course, you have to find the right balance here too and not get on people's nerves. But be present.

  1. Remain authentic

I am absolutely convinced that you can tell very quickly whether someone is authentic or not. This has nothing to do with the hype about authentic leadership. You just notice when someone tells you something they don't really mean. Remember, you are definitely making an impression. And that's probably supposed to be a positive impression after all, isn't it?

If you generally struggle with communication, authenticity has another positive side effect: It is much easier for you if you don't have to bend over.

 

Good communicators don't fall from the sky. But one can Good communication learn - including these basic skills. Just start. Try to take a small step each day by studying, reading, and most of all, practicing. I have two additional tips on this.

Try asking questions as described in tip 1 and end your next employee interview with “How can I support you?” And don't be afraid to change your communication a little. For example through personal storytelling. I am sure your employees will notice the difference in a positive way.

If you want to improve your personal communication skills or want to add storytelling, for example, I would be happy to support you. My offer ranges from individual coaching to tailor-made in-house workshops. Just talk to me about it.