Top 3 Communication Tips!

37 replies
What are your top 3 communication tips?

For me, it would be:

1. Always assume that the person that you're talking to has NO CLUE what you're talking about, unless you specifically know otherwise.

Or, in other words, don't tell a rocket scientist how to build rockets, but assume that your boss won't understand what you're saying if you talk about it.

(Fun fact: Don't assume that people know what you're saying! Did you know that the Chinese don't have 2 words for "mustache" and "beard"? They use the same word, and get VERY confused when you mention that someone has one, but not the other. They also probably won't understand the difference until you explain it to them visually.)


2. Never write instructions. Write them, make pictures/visuals out of them, record yourself reading them, etc.


People don't learn just 1 way (and they generally don't read everything you write anyway), so present the information in as many ways as possible to make sure that you reach them... at least until you figure out what their particular learning style is. ^_~ lol


3. Too much information is much better than not enough information.

It's a lot easier to let someone pick and choose what is important for them to know on a project, than it is to have them find that their information is lacking, and because of that, they did something wrong and wasted time. It will annoy them a bit at first, but they will get used to it, and it will be FAR less annoying than finding out that their hard work has been wasted. ^_~*


So what about you? What are your top 3 communication tips? ^_^
#advice #communication #question #tips #top
  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    i don't get it


    hehe

    number 4

    the only people willing to listen to your complaints .. stopped listening after 20 second and started waiting their turn
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    • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
      Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

      the only people willing to listen to your complaints .. stopped listening after 20 second and started waiting their turn
      Hahahahahaha that's a good one! XD
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    i speak boston and i read typo
    when outside boston ..there is a list of word everyone who speaks english wants to hear said in a Boston accent
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    There's a reason we are born with one mouth and 2 ears.
    It's so we can listen twice as much as we speak.
    You learn more by listening than by only talking and not listening.
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    • Profile picture of the author BrownPhillip
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      There's a reason we are born with one mouth and 2 ears.
      It's so we can listen twice as much as we speak.
      You learn more by listening than by only talking and not listening.
      Interesting way to put it.
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    • Profile picture of the author franc24
      Hi all, I have read all of your insights, and i admire it all. i don't have a top 3 communication skills right now, since this is about communication?let me ask you all this, do you know anyone who have a training to develop communication skills of a person? ? also, just a question, in a situation, when there's this interviewee and interviewer, who do you think controls the conversation between them, the one asking the question? or the one answering the question??
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      • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
        Originally Posted by franc24 View Post

        ...in a situation, when there's this interviewee and interviewer, who do you think controls the conversation between them, the one asking the question? or the one answering the question??
        In a perfect world, neither; they would both equally share the conversation.

        In the real world, it depends on a lot of factors, including, among other things,
        • the level of experience that each person has in various subjects (job skills, communication, etc.)
        • time constraints
        • money constraints
        • knowledge
        • and the emotions of the people involved in the conversation at that specific point in time.
        In general, though, I'd say that whomever has more experience with communication probably has more control over the conversation, especially if they have learned how to manage the other person's emotional state and expectations.
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      • Profile picture of the author NoEndInsight
        Originally Posted by franc24 View Post

        Hi all, I have read all of your insights, and i admire it all. i don't have a top 3 communication skills right now, since this is about communication?let me ask you all this, do you know anyone who have a training to develop communication skills of a person? ? also, just a question, in a situation, when there's this interviewee and interviewer, who do you think controls the conversation between them, the one asking the question? or the one answering the question??
        Hey how are you? I actually have spent a good couple of years studying communication and earned a degree in it. I would love to hear what some of your questions or goals are with communication and how I could possibly help you out!

        As far as the interviewer/interviewee question goes....

        Whenever I am in an interview, I always answer a question and then ask one right back! So for example, if they say, "Where do you see yourself in 5 years". I will say something like, "Well I plan on further developing my brand and integrating it into new outlets and channels.....etc etc" "Can you tell me where the company plans to go in the next 5 years, and what new opportunities it would present for future or current employees"?

        You see now instead of me just sitting there getting grilled or questioned, I am now putting some pressure on the interviewer to answer some relevant questions as well. This will make he or she have to think a little and will temporarily put you in a position of power. Just remember to ask in a polite and sincere way. You don't want to ask as if you are now the boss of the interaction.

        I find that approaching an interview this way slowly helps develop it into a discussion or conversation, rather than just an "interrogation". Hope that makes sense!
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        • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
          NoEndInsight, those are all FANTASTIC communication tips!

          I especially like the one about asking an interviewer questions in return, and the one about asking people what they do that they enjoy. Hopefully the person that you're talking to knows what they do for fun, and isn't consumed with work, as many of us seem to be. XD lol
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  • Profile picture of the author abdovic
    There are times when the more often you talk to someone, the less effective that the conversation is going to be and it just happens to be one of those moments. Then you have the desire to talk to your ex girlfriend a little, that might not be the best thing you can do if you want her back. Therefore, try to answer the general rule that less is more and you should be fine.
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    • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      There's a reason we are born with one mouth and 2 ears.
      It's so we can listen twice as much as we speak.
      You learn more by listening than by only talking and not listening.
      So true! Hmmm... come to think of it, I'm not sure if you can learn by talking. You can come to some realizations, sure, but that's not really learning, per say. 0.o

      Originally Posted by illiptic View Post

      Love #2!

      Redundancy is key for keeping an idea alive in people's minds.
      Yes! They hate it, but they need it. XD lol

      Originally Posted by LastingLifeSuccess View Post

      Wow. I don't believe I have a top three communication tips right now. I sure did like your top three though. They all resonated with me.

      LLS
      I'm so glad! I could throw out a few more, if you'd like. ^_^

      Originally Posted by abdovic View Post

      There are times when the more often you talk to someone, the less effective that the conversation is going to be and it just happens to be one of those moments.
      So, COMPLETELY true! I think that an e-mail list is a good example of that. Some people talk to their list every day (or multiple times a day!), and they have a lot of people drop out, but if they have a lot coming in, they don't really care so much. However, it seems like most people who try to build a relationship with their list post less often, maybe 2-3 times a week, and I'd imagine that they have fewer unsubs because of it. 0.o

      I could be wrong, though. What do you guys think? ^_^
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyG11k
    Your tips are very good, and came right on time... as I'm working on a "template" with writing instructions for my VA team and partners.

    I noticed that the more specific I am, and the more detailed I write, the better their understanding.

    At the same time, I strive to say more with less.

    Does it make sense?
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  • Profile picture of the author Sandycmy
    Fine tips !

    My previous Boss taught me the below two ....

    a) Communicate as if the listener is in action of what you say. Confirm what they get.
    If you are a listener, listen as if you are in action of what you hear and confirm your understanding.

    b) Always ask good questions inline with the solutions. Good communication is usually measured with the action it results in.

    It has helped me ..hope it helps you too ..
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    • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
      Originally Posted by JohnnyG11k View Post

      I noticed that the more specific I am, and the more detailed I write, the better their understanding.

      At the same time, I strive to say more with less.

      Does it make sense?
      It sure does! When I was working with my China team, the best way that I could describe communication to other people was that you needed to use simple language ("cave-man" speech, essentially) and short, to-the-point sentences which specifically tell them to take action. Passive speech leads to a lot of problems when giving instructions.

      But, at the same time, you have to be VERY specific in what you say, and set boundaries for them. You can't say that you want something green, for example; you have to give them the Hex code for the color.

      It's a tricky line to walk!
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      • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
        Originally Posted by Sandycmy View Post

        Fine tips !

        My previous Boss taught me the below two ....

        a) Communicate as if the listener is in action of what you say. Confirm what they get.
        If you are a listener, listen as if you are in action of what you hear and confirm your understanding.

        b) Always ask good questions inline with the solutions. Good communication is usually measured with the action it results in.

        It has helped me ..hope it helps you too ..
        Those are excellent tips! ^_^

        The tricky part is confirming that they understand without asking them if they understand. If you ask them, they might think that they do and say, "yes", but actually misunderstand entirely. The best way is to have them repeat what you said in their own words, as you've mentioned. ^_^

        As for good questions, that's something that I specifically look for in job candidates. I set up a test where many questions can be asked (and should be to do the job properly), and see how many are actually asked. That alone can tell you a lot about a person's thought process and working style. ^_^
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  • Profile picture of the author joesfortune
    I think the most important tip is to plan what you are going to communicate to see its relevance, clarity, understandability and, of course, wait for feedback.
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  • Profile picture of the author RikkyBoss
    Nice information about communications.
    I'm bad in communications, but when communicating my first rule coming in to my head is "I'm speaking with humans", so I just make everything as simple as possible by using a simple explanation in ordinary-style conversations, removing a lot of term which people may not understand, something like that.

    Well, I bet now you know my communicating problem from my comment... -_-"
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    • Profile picture of the author Devid Farah
      Hi,

      In response to your question, i would have to say that my top 3 communication tips are as follows in order of importance:

      - Firstly, "read" the person that you are speaking with, and i say "with" not "to" for a reason that will be better explained in a moment.

      By "reading" the person's body language and how they react to your statements or questions, you will have a better understanding of their needs and this will enable you to relate better to them, thus getting your point across much more effectively.

      - Second, I would have to say that speaking "with" another person is better than speaking "to" them. This can also be seen in the writing of an email or in ad copy and it shows that you are not only engaged with the other person, but you are also becoming the listener as well as the speaker.

      - And lastly, i would have to say that just the act of getting out there and talking to someone is a very important aspect of proper communication.

      In many cultures it is considered rude not to speak or to become the wallflower of the group. It is rare that the one who doesn't speak up actually gets anywhere, so whether you are in sales, marketing or just trying to increase your social network, you should speak up and be heard.

      Best
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  • Profile picture of the author stopper
    On your second point. I think I have been putting off communication via video for way too long.
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  • Profile picture of the author tobyjensen
    The best I've seen so far on communications skills is Crucial Conversations. They outline a seven step model (moderately difficult to learn) from twenty years of research of the best of the best of the best communicators around the world.

    Here's the first link I just googled up from someone who outlined the seven steps and a bit more about the book. but their article doesn't do the book justice. The book goes into more detail with examples of how to practice this difficult art of talking with people over emotionally charged issues such as money, sales, religion, politics, and sex - just to name a few.

    7 Tips for Mastering Crucial Conversations|Vault Blogs|Vault.com
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    • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
      Originally Posted by joesfortune View Post

      ... and, of course, wait for feedback.
      Ooohhhh that's good. It's definitely important to wait for feedback, otherwise you're talking at them, and not with them. 0.o As Devid said...

      Originally Posted by Devid Farah View Post

      - Second, I would have to say that speaking "with" another person is better than speaking "to" them. This can also be seen in the writing of an email or in ad copy and it shows that you are not only engaged with the other person, but you are also becoming the listener as well as the speaker.

      Originally Posted by Devid Farah View Post

      By "reading" the person's body language and how they react to your statements or questions, you will have a better understanding of their needs and this will enable you to relate better to them, thus getting your point across much more effectively.
      Body language is SO IMPORTANT when communicating with someone! It's amazing how much context you can pull from someone's movements, even if they're not saying anything at all!

      Originally Posted by Devid Farah View Post

      - And lastly, i would have to say that just the act of getting out there and talking to someone is a very important aspect of proper communication.

      In many cultures it is considered rude not to speak or to become the wallflower of the group. It is rare that the one who doesn't speak up actually gets anywhere, so whether you are in sales, marketing or just trying to increase your social network, you should speak up and be heard.
      Also true! You know, I find it really interesting that in a lot of cultures, it's polite to be completely quiet when someone is talking to you. Personally, I always like to add in a little "yep", "uh huh", "I know, right?", etc. in there just so that the person knows that I'm listening. If I remember correctly, this is done in some Asian cultures as well... I know that the Japanese have aizuchi, but I'm not sure if this "I'm listening" technique is common in other societies as well. 0.o

      What do you think?
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      • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
        Originally Posted by stopper View Post

        On your second point. I think I have been putting off communication via video for way too long.
        Haven't we all? XD lol

        Originally Posted by tobyjensen View Post

        The best I've seen so far on communications skills is Crucial Conversations. They outline a seven step model (moderately difficult to learn) from twenty years of research of the best of the best of the best communicators around the world.
        ...
        7 Tips for Mastering Crucial Conversations|Vault Blogs|Vault.com
        Thanks for the reference! ^_^
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        • Profile picture of the author tobyjensen
          Originally Posted by cajtrixie View Post

          Haven't we all? XD lol



          Thanks for the reference! ^_^
          Wow, you haven't heard of this book. It is one of the best communication books on the market today. It is almost always in the top ten lists on Amazon business books. Amazing how they spelled out how to talk about emotionally charged difficult subjects with people to get positive results. And one of my favorites is there newsletter where the nit picky nay-sayers are always trying to come up with situations where it wouldn't work and they dive right in and show how it could work.
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          • Profile picture of the author owen2012
            Best thing I have learned in communication when face to face selling is active listening.

            Truly understanding what a customer wants makes it relatively easy to sell them. Understanding what they are looking for stems from listening carefully.
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            • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
              Originally Posted by owen2012 View Post

              Best thing I have learned in communication when face to face selling is active listening.

              Truly understanding what a customer wants makes it relatively easy to sell them. Understanding what they are looking for stems from listening carefully.
              And sometimes, customers forget what they just told you, and are impressed when you essentially repeat it back to them. XD lol

              Without active listening, that wouldn't be possible.
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      • Profile picture of the author Devid Farah
        Originally Posted by cajtrixie View Post


        Also true! You know, I find it really interesting that in a lot of cultures, it's polite to be completely quiet when someone is talking to you. Personally, I always like to add in a little "yep", "uh huh", "I know, right?", etc. in there just so that the person knows that I'm listening. If I remember correctly, this is done in some Asian cultures as well... I know that the Japanese have aizuchi, but I'm not sure if this "I'm listening" technique is common in other societies as well. 0.o

        What do you think?
        Hi,

        most Asian cultures require silence as a form of respect to the speaker.

        Just like anything in life, silence can be used in a good way or a bad way.

        Silence can bounce between gratitude, shame, guilt and\or empathy. Silence is wisdom when talk is cheap. Silence can be easily molded but it should never be underestimated or taken lightly because it can hide lifetimes and worlds.

        For most of the Western world, silence is usually unintentional and that is where we start to have the breakdown in communication.

        Speaking up, no matter how uncouth it may seem, is always the best rule to live by especially if silence could have a negative effect on your business's bottom line.

        All the best
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  • Profile picture of the author kash21
    Thanks for the tips!
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  • Profile picture of the author Brandon McGuffin
    Thank you for that information. I find your three communication tools very useful. In some way or another, I have been working on my communication skill, maturity, and leadership for a while now. Your topic has brought back a lot of aspects I have been working on. I used to come across as arrogant, and a rambler when talking to people both personally and professionally. I have started to get the arrogance under control, but the rambling is hanging around. I am often put on time limits during meeting. I'm sure it is found annoying to everyone, even though it is seen almost as a joke now. I do find that the more I am around more professional environments, the better I get.
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    • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
      Originally Posted by Brandon McGuffin View Post

      Thank you for that information... I have started to get the arrogance under control, but the rambling is hanging around. ... I do find that the more I am around more professional environments, the better I get.
      Hi Brandon! *laughs* I'm a bit of a rambler, myself. I tend to give people a lot more information than they think that they need, so they always makes jokes about how I don't stop talking, but when it comes time to work, they end up needing the information. XD lol

      Seriously though, good for you! You found something that you want to improve on, and you're working hard to improve on it! A lot of people (myself included) find it INCREDIBLY challenging to improve aspects of their personality. The fact that you are able to do so, even if at a slow and steady process, is absolutely amazing! I don't know how you do it! Well done! ^-^
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  • Profile picture of the author drem
    Communication is actually an interesting topic. I believe we get much more out of listening than talking in most cases. When it comes to talking to people, the vast majority are only intrigued when the topic resonates with them. So, you must know a fair bit about your audience before talking with them.

    When trying to make a sale or talk to a new friend, it is always easier to take the backseat and let them talk. Sure, you have to ask questions, but that is fairly easy. In fact, when making a sale, a person needs to be convinced that they have to buy your product or service. If you are talking to them, they will know you are trying to sell them. However, when you get a person saying, "yes, this product will help me", "yes, I need this to succeed," they sell themselves on the idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author illiptic
    Originally Posted by cajtrixie View Post

    What are your top 3 communication tips?

    For me, it would be:

    1. Always assume that the person that you're talking to has NO CLUE what you're talking about, unless you specifically know otherwise.

    Or, in other words, don't tell a rocket scientist how to build rockets, but assume that your boss won't understand what you're saying if you talk about it.

    (Fun fact: Don't assume that people know what you're saying! Did you know that the Chinese don't have 2 words for "mustache" and "beard"? They use the same word, and get VERY confused when you mention that someone has one, but not the other. They also probably won't understand the difference until you explain it to them visually.)


    2. Never write instructions. Write them, make pictures/visuals out of them, record yourself reading them, etc.


    People don't learn just 1 way (and they generally don't read everything you write anyway), so present the information in as many ways as possible to make sure that you reach them... at least until you figure out what their particular learning style is. ^_~ lol


    3. Too much information is much better than not enough information.

    It's a lot easier to let someone pick and choose what is important for them to know on a project, than it is to have them find that their information is lacking, and because of that, they did something wrong and wasted time. It will annoy them a bit at first, but they will get used to it, and it will be FAR less annoying than finding out that their hard work has been wasted. ^_~*


    So what about you? What are your top 3 communication tips? ^_^
    Great stuff!

    Reminds a lot of the concepts learned in "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

    #3 makes a really great point...there is in art and power in "dumbing things down" and using brevity in your communication.
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  • Profile picture of the author sophiadixon
    A great post!
    I totally agree with you and I don't have anything to add. Yout tips are my tips.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    my three are

    listen

    listen

    listen
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  • Profile picture of the author NoEndInsight
    Those are some awesome tips you guys posted. Here are my basic 3:

    1. Come from a place of giving and not receiving- If the only reason you talk to people is to get something, chances are they will tune you out. People are used to being advertised to. Instead take every interaction as a way to help someone out. People are always open to getting new solutions or help on things. So if they see you as someone who can offer that, they will hear you out with pleasure!

    2. Avoid surface talk- The sooner you can cut through the dull mediocre talk, the quicker you can get to truly knowing the person you are talking to. When talking to someone new, I always ask "So what do you do"……..FOR FUN? You see instead of having them talk about work, which they might not even enjoy, I am now asking them to talk about something that brings them happiness. As they explain it, their imagination will take them back to that place and actually change their emotions. Not to mention, it gives you the opportunity to see if you have any similar interests.

    3. Look people in the eyes- Eye contact really helps establish rapport and relatability. It lets people know that you are totally invested in the interaction and can also help build attraction when talking to someone from the opposite sex.

    Just my opinion, hope that helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author TerryX
    1) All communication is marketing.
    2) Speak to the imagination and not with facts and figures.
    3) Write with a smile on your face.
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    • Profile picture of the author cajtrixie
      Originally Posted by TerryX View Post

      1) All communication is marketing.
      2) Speak to the imagination and not with facts and figures.
      3) Write with a smile on your face.
      Great comments!

      1. Everything is marketing, depending on how you spin the situation. XD
      2. Completely agreed... unless you are trying to sell something to someone.
      3. If possible, do everything with a smile on your face. That's where it looks best! ;D lol
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