Becoming a good communicator takes practice, consistency and effort, and definitely a skill that we cannot afford to overlook.
“Don't communicate to be understood; rather, communicate so as not to be misunderstood.” Dr. Lund from Forbes Successful Business Communication.
For clear communication it is imperative to understand the way we interpret communication from others and the way we interpret messages, which are based on three principles: - FACIAL EXPRESSIONS / BODY LANGUAGE (55%), VOICE TONE (37%) & THE WORDS ONE SAYS (8%). Here are some very interesting statistics on this topic.
These statistics are the averages across both men and women together, but that if you looked at women alone they would even give greater weight to the facial expression and body language and even less on the words. This tells us that it is critical that we become very self-aware of how our body language is speaking to others as well as the tone we use. One thing I recommend is to keep a small mirror by your office phone so that when you are on the phone talking to people you can look in the mirror because it makes you more aware of the facial expressions you have, which makes you smile more, which in turn ends up coming through in your tone of voice over the phone. It works wonders on how well others interpret you from a phone call.
Success in business is greatly impacted for better or worse by the way in which we communicate. Happiness in our personal lives is also greatly dependent on this very same skill. (Just ask any married couple!)