3. Understand your personal communication style
We all have our own communication preferences regarding the words and medium we use. We’re also communicating nonverbal information through our tone and body language. Are you an eye roller? A head shaker? Do you use a lot of corporate-speak?
Take a good look at your own communication style preferences, strengths, and weaknesses. Don’t just listen to others. Listen to yourself. We all have pet phrases we get into the habit of using. Do those phrases help or hurt your message? Do they help people listen to you more attentively or tune you out?
7. Address mistakes
Whenever there’s a miscommunication that’s in the way of progress, address it quickly. Letting it fester doesn’t make future communications any easier.
Always be the first to admit whenever you’ve made a mistake. Apologize sincerely. Fix the mistake as best you can. By the same token, if someone else makes a mistake, don’t rub it in. Be gracious. Learn to forgive. Because holding on to anger only hurts you — not them.
Communicating thoughtfully, directly, and regularly, builds your credibility so when you have more important or difficult messages to share, your employees can hear you.
As you work to improve your own communication skills, keep one guiding principle in mind: treat others with respect and consideration (aka “don’t be a jerk”). If you can master that, people will definitely be more open to what you’re saying.