What are the characteristics that make someone a good communicator? And why is it important? How can your communication skills impact your life? Your communication skills impact your entire life. From start to finish. And they can make or break you.
They don’t teach you to be a great communicator in school.
“Good communication skills” are on every job post. But the vast majority of firms who are looking for great communicators don’t bother to train you to be one! How ironic! But we know that all great communicators have worked on their communication skills. They’ve learned specific techniques to make themselves great communicators because they know it’ll benefit their lives.
What makes a great communicator?
So what’s this magic great communicators know? You know the ones, the folks who command attention easily. They tell great stories and have an authoritative, yet warm style. The ones who get people to follow them and do what they say.
If things aren’t going your way in your life, you may want to look into refining your communication skills. Great communicators learned how to be influential. All the great communicators you know have done it. And they’re keeping it a secret.
Even your speaking voice has a tremendous impact on how people feel about you.
I put it out there on the Twitterverse and I got some great replies.
Great communicators have clarity, consistency, and compassion.
And listens v actively
— Katie BennettStenton (@katiebmarketing) April 23, 2021
Mel hit the mark here with “clarity, consistency, and compassion.” Compassion is often missing because most people are so focused on getting others to think of them as being smart.
When we focus so much on getting others to see us a certain way, we can forget that our communicative partners want the same thing.
Clarity is difficult to achieve for anyone. Crystal clear communicators have made it their focus to improve their speaking abilities. Just like any other skill the more you work at it the better you become.
And I love Katie’s “listen very actively.” That is so important. Great communicators aren’t thinking about their reply when they listen. They focus on the speaker wholeheartedly.
Thanks, Mel & Katie!
Great communicators actively engage their audience.
A big part of being a great communicator is to make sure that we understand each other. Asking your listener if they understand you as well as asking them specifically what they heard is a great way to develop wonderful relationships.
And great communicators definitely don’t criticize people for typos!
A great communicator delivers their message, then actively engaged their audience to ensure the message was as clear as they thought.
— Frank Gilbert (@PFGilbert) April 23, 2021
You might be surprised to learn that nearly all communique have misunderstandings. So taking the time to clarify what your listener heard as well as what you’ve heard from your communicative partner will save you time in the long run. Thank you, Frank!
Take your listeners’ perspective.
Love your audience. Understand what they know & what they need to know.
Great communicators understand their audience and tailor the message/tone/delivery to them. Poor communicators don’t consider their audience or try to reach them where they are.
— Susan Johnston Taylor (she/her) (@UrbanMuseWriter) April 21, 2021
Susan nailed it here. You know the poor communicators when they talk at everyone. Delivering their message in the same (dare I say it) self-centered way to different folks and groups is not going to get you anywhere.
I work with people and I help them tailor their message to different people. The CEO, their teams, prospective clients. Just a little time & energy and you can really get through to people. And get them to follow your call to action.
And kindness and warmth.
— Jay (@j_netherton) April 22, 2021
Short & sweet from Jay. And good advice. Having empathy for others will get you far. It’s the difference between good relationships and difficult ones.
I see this often in the workplaces I go into. Bad work experiences because some employees are too focused on how they’re feeling and not thinking about the other guy.
— Maggie (@BeAHappyNurse) April 21, 2021
Happy nurse Maggie believes that curiosity makes the difference between good communicators and poor communicators. I imagine she means that’s the root as to why someone would be great or poor at communicating.
If you don’t have a curiosity about others and you don’t have a desire to learn to become a better communicator then that would make you a poor one.
Thank you, Maggie! And many thanks for the work you do!
Great communicators make people feel awesome!
Great communicators make other people feel great.
— Craig Fanning (@CraigMFanning) April 21, 2021
The end result of being an incredible communicator? Everyone walks away from speaking with you feeling great. Great communicators charm folks, they compliment, they’re authoritative yet warm, and they’re concise.
Great communicators have choices.
Great communicator = You can be this or that.
Poor communicator = You must be this.
— Ridwan Oladimeji Ojo (@hodzoporium) April 21, 2021
When my clients speak, they get noticed. So much so that they get multiple job offers without even going on an interview!
Ridwan understands this. You’ve got many options when you become a great communicator. Remember it’s the 1st requirement you see on the job description.
Also remember, that nobody was born a great communicator, but anyone can become one. The people you know who are great communicators? They’ve worked on it.
Be crisp & clear.
Great communicator makes delivery of message crisp and clear.
Worst communicator makes delivery of message a source for chaos and confusion.
— Syed Moiz 🇮🇳 🇨🇦 (@smoiz) April 22, 2021
Very good point, Syed! Right up my alley. I always talk about chunking your speech into bullets to make yourself crisp & clear.
And Syed is right about chaos & confusion stemming from an unclear message. If you’ve ever suggested a brilliant idea at a meeting only to be met with blank looks, then Joe down at the end says the same thing and is met with approval you’ll know that you aren’t explaining yourself well.
But worry not! We’ve got the techniques for clear speech here for you!
I could go on and on about clarity. Haha! That was a joke!
Less is more when it comes to clarity, so practice your artful pauses.
All the best communicators are able to take a complex message and make it simple for people to understand.
That means no five-dollar words, folks. You don’t impress people with wordiness. Be sure you’re crystal clear.
Spot on and well done, Ivan!
There are many ways that great communicators differ from poor ones. We’ve only touched the surface. We can always improve our communication skills. I’ve been doing it my whole life, I change peoples’ lives with my training, and I still have work to do!
Learn the techniques and apply them to your life. Contact us to learn how we can help you.
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You want to be a great communicator.
We know one difference between a great communicator and a poor one. Everyone wants to be great at communicating! Not the other way around.
The first thing you’ll want to do is take a look at how high or low the stakes are in your communicative situations.
The stakes of a situation.
Did you ever notice you perform better in low-stakes scenarios? If you’re ordering a cup of coffee or chatting with the doorman on our way into the building there are no or low-stakes. You have no need to impress. So there’s no stammering or garbling up your words. You’re as smooth as silk!
But when you report to the CEO that’s a completely different story. You need to impress your boss because he or she is making decisions about your future. The stakes can be quite high and now you’re as smooth as burlap!
The same goes for job interviews, first dates, small talk, and (gasp!) public speaking. Think about how much you want out of that situation and put the deserved attention to it.