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Tips to improve communication skills

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Tips to improve communication skills

I just came back from a multinational event that had people from more than 30 countries. Most people were new to each other and most of them knew each other during the event.

Because i am psychologist i didn't manage to prevent myself from analyzing the way people used to communicate with each other and to come back with some new conclusions.

During this event many people did some killer communication skills mistakes that made them lose their popularity while others did some great things that helped them make a large number of friends.

In this article i will tell you about some conclusions i made in the form of tips that can help you improve your communication skills when dealing with people especially strangers.

How to communicate better with people

  • 1)Avoid negativity: What comes to your mind when i say the word dog? most probably a series of pictures and thoughts will jump into your mind right after hearing this word. This happens because memories and thoughts are strongly interconnected in such a way that one word can make you recall tens of memories in seconds. Now if you talked about a negative topic even if it wasn't impacting any of the people you were talking to then most likely they are going to recall more related negative topics and they might catch a bad mood. (see What causes bad moods)
  • 2)Its all about emotions: People don't feel good when meeting a person because of the way he treats them but they feel good because of the way he makes them feel. That's why people who make others laugh are considered interesting. now what if you talked about negative topics and made others feel bad? won't that make others dislike you? certainly that will happen and rarely there will be a person who is smart enough to realize that he dislikes the emotion you forced him to experience and not you (see Why do people hate others)
  • 2)Approaching others incorrectly: One of the important communication skills tips you must keep in mind all the time when dealing with strangers is that the way you approach them will greatly impact the way they respond to you. If you approached someone during a moment when he was really busy or irritated then most probably you will get a negative response. If you interrupted someone who was talking then most probably he will become annoyed. Some people also made the mistake of approaching others from behind which was something that made most people feel uncomfortable. If you want to get positive results when communicating with others then put in mind that approaching others correctly and in the right time is a must (see also The right way to approach others)
  • 4)Becoming more approachable: During the event those who smiled more often to strangers, those who seemed interested in others and those who were more energetic were approached by most people while those who seemed to be bored, not interested or those who had their Ipods on all the time were approached by the mininal number of people. All people want to feel loved and accepted and that's why the more you encourage someone to approach you by being nice to him the more is it likely that he approaches you (see How to become more approachable). Sometimes a simple act such as looking towards the person who is talking makes him feel wanted and encourages him to start a conversation with you
  • 5) Using the right words: We were talking about culture differences when someone suddenly said that in some cultures they do a real bad thing which is using the language barrier to their advantage to make more money from tourists. A person who was sitting with us was real good in communicating with others, the guy said "its not real bad its just different". While the word different in this case had the same meaning of real bad still it was a real smart word to use in order not to annoy any of those who were present

A final tip on improving your communication skills

Dare to do wrong things in order to learn how to do things correctly. During that event some people were watching others from a distance because they were too afraid to approach anyone. (see also Fear of approaching women)

Those people had a point. If they lack communication skills then they shouldn't approach others so that they don't make any mistakes, sounds logical right?

Well, those people just missed the fact that their communication skills will always remain poor until they dare to get out of their comfort zones and make some mistakes.

The best communication skills tip i can give you is to be brave enough to approach others even if you are not 100% sure of your skills. After all this is how you are going to improve those skills.

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