Whether you categorize yourself as a “good” communicator or just “okay,” it’s important that your communication skills constantly evolve. You have to make a daily effort to improve your communication skills. It’s not enough to just be “okay” at it- you have to be great at it– your life depends on it.
Although that may seem a bit dramatic, just about every aspect of your life as a human being is affected by your communication skills:
How well did you describe your child’s (or your) symptoms to the doctor?
Did you give clear directions to the friend who is meeting you for lunch?
Did you provide effective “performance improvement feedback” to your employee, or were you vague or critical, leaving him or her feeling worse than before you opened your mouth?
Did you let your spouse know that you appreciated a specific task he or she completed for you?
These are just a few examples when GREAT, not just good or okay communication skills are essential.
All of us should add “improve communication skills” to our daily to-do list. Perhaps we should be even more specific and focus on a particular skill each day or for one week to “get it down.”
If you need motivation to take on this challenge, here are 25 reasons why you should:
1. You’ll be better able to “read” people
2. Your personal relationships will grow stronger and closer
3. Your workplace relationships will improve
4. You’ll get more done, especially when working with others
5. You’ll reduce others’ anger and defensiveness
6. You’ll feel more confident
7. You’ll be free to be more assertive
8. You’ll accomplish more of your goals
9. People will enjoy talking with you more (because listening will be one of the skills you’ll work on)
10. Your customer service ratings will rise
11. You’ll retain more customers
13. You’ll gain new customers
14. You’ll look forward to conflict and the opportunity to resolve it effectively
15. You’ll set a great example for your children
16. Your children will be more effective communicators
17. You’ll be more likely to get a promotion
18. You’ll make more money
19. You’ll be better able to negotiate- from your kid’s curfew to a new car deal
20. People will respect and admire you
21. You’ll learn more than you ever would have
22. Your life will be more satisfying
23. You’ll be less stressed and frustrated
24. You’ll have fewer regrets
25. You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever would have known otherwise
What would you add to this list?
If you need some help getting started, order my book, “Practical Communication: 25 Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Getting Along and Getting Things Done.” It’s full of tips and information as well as guidance for getting started on the road to better communication!