Updated: Apr 9, 2021
None of us are experts at everything. There is always room for improvement. Knowing where and how we need to make changes is the first step. In this blog, you will get some tips on how to find areas where your communication can improve and how to make those improvements.
Take an Inventory
The first step should be taking an inventory. Write down all the areas of communication where you excel. This can be anything. Maybe you are creative, funny, knowledgeable, good at grammar, etc.
Next write down all the areas where you can improve. You might need to stop interrupting, encourage more, pause between sentences, etc. This is not an exercise for beating yourself up. None of us are experts at everything. Remember to be kind to yourself and that the overall goal is to improve.
Ask those around you how you can communicate better. Ask your friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else who you might think has insight into your communication skill. Again, this is only information to help you make changes and improve. The more you know the better.
There are also tools out there for getting feedback. Culture Amp is one site that specializes in this. Maybe your company already has a tool like this or you can convince them to try it.
Observe Yourself and Others
Observe your own behavior and others. Be curious and study how others communicate. What kind of body language do they have? What is their tone of voice? Are they upset or angry? What are they feeling? Do they act differently around different people? Pretend you are doing research for a magazine and are learning everything you can about people and how they communicate. What do you notice about yourself? Do you communicate differently when you are tired or hungry? In front of your boss?
Learn more about communication. Read articles, books, and watch videos. Even better, take a class. The important thing is to constantly be training yourself to improve your communication. It is something you have to keep at in order to get better. Challenge yourself to learn one new thing a day about communication.
There are tons of articles on the internet about communication. Indeed has a simple overview of communication to get you started. It's called: "4 Types of Communication". and, of course, there are many more articles on this blog that can help as well.
Make a Change
Now you have the knowledge you need to make changes. You know where you need to improve, and you know more about communication. The next part is putting it into practice. IT may seem overwhelming at first and you might be pushed out of your comfort zone. This is natural when trying something new. You will feel unfamiliar and unsteady. Always remember to be nice to yourself, give yourself encouragement, and focus on the goal. It can also help to have a coach to keep you engaged and motivated. The coach can be professional or someone you know personally.
Good luck on your journey to becoming a better communicator. Celebrate every step along the way. You got this!