To be an effective leader, you need many skills. One of the most important ones is the ability to communicate well with others. After all, even in professional situations, it’s all about relationships and in relationships, communication is key. Whether you’re discussing a contract with a property management client, coaching an employee, delivering a presentation or working through a disagreement, the ability to clearly and accurately articulate your thoughts is essential. For some, however, communicating effectively can be challenging. If you are among them, here are a few strategies to up your game.
The more prepared you are for an interaction, the more confident you will be. Whenever possible, take the time to research, get to know the subject matter and prepare yourself in advance for what you’d like to say and accomplish. For instance, if you are giving a webinar to your property management clients, be sure you know enough about the topic to relay it clearly and also be able to answer questions.
Start by working on your listening skills.
The basis of good communication is active listening. If you aren’t capable of really hearing what others are saying to you, there’s no way you can respond effectively. If listening isn’t your strong point, it’s time to start working on that skill. When communicating with someone else, make a conscious effort to really focus on what the other party is saying and, if necessary, either reiterate it back or repeat it silently to yourself. This can help drive home what you’re hearing.
“Listen” to body language too.
You can tell a lot from a person’s non-verbal reactions. Are they standing still or fidgeting? Are they smiling or yawning? Do they have their arms crossed or are they relaxed? Taking note of these nuances can help you get a better idea of how the other party is feeling. You should also pay attention to your own body language. If you sound confident with your words and tone of voice but you are nervously shifting from one foot to the other, the latter will reveal the truth.
If you’re not entirely certain about what the other party is saying, don’t assume. Ask clarifying questions. This will ensure that you fully understand the subject matter at hand and can therefore respond accordingly. It also demonstrates that you’re listening and are tuned in to the conversation.
Don’t be afraid of silence.
Often times, people feel uncomfortable when there’s a lull in conversation. As such, they tend to keep talking just to avoid the perceived awkwardness. But when it comes to effective communication, silence can actually be your best friend. Not only does it allow time for you to gather and organize your thoughts before you speak, but it also prevents the conversation from going off course.
Communication is a key leadership skill. Without it, your property management company will not reach its fullest potential. The five tips listed above should help you hone this critical business skill so that you’re much more effective in all of your business dealings.