Let’s start off with the easiest method to increase your communication skills.
It’s to be sincerely curious and ask interesting questions.
We all can do this! Instead of saying, “Hey, how are you?” Say, “It’s great to meet! What’s your day been like?”
Even though this isn’t the most interesting question, there’s a huge difference. And, you’ll get a much different response from the person you’re talking to.
Several studies published in the Greater Good Science Center reveal that curious people have better relationships and connect better with others. In fact, other people are more easily attracted and feel socially closer to individuals that display curiosity.
This fact alone should make you ask better questions and learn how to be curious. Good communication skills start with asking above average questions.
George Mason University psychologist Todd Kashdan, conducted a study which found:
“Being interested is more important in cultivating a relationship and maintaining a relationship than being interesting; that’s what gets the dialogue going. It’s the secret juice of relationships.”
Wow! Being curious is enough to make you a more likable person. That’s it!
But, you can’t fake it. It’s an easy tell.
When you’re asking questions and being curious about the person you’re talking to, you need to also have a friendly and open demeanor.
The fastest way to kill your likability is to come off as fake or indifferent. Even if you don’t mean to. You might just feel uncomfortable or are naturally reserved.
But keep in mind that people are trying to read you.
When you act closed-off or snobby, even if it’s unintentional, no one will like you.
Sometimes good communication skills starts with your face.
Learn to make an immediate good first impression with your face.
Donna Van Natten, the Body Language Dr., says, “people can judge us in just a 10th of a second. And in two or more seconds, people’s judgments of us tend to become more negative…
Van Natten goes on to say…
“We like to see teeth. So, smile! We also quickly seek eye contact and that’s a struggle for some people. But, in our country, we are an eye-contact culture for a sign of trust.”
Listen first, then listen some more. Then speak.
We all like to rush to get a word in as we talk to others. This isn’t good communication.
When someone else is speaking, we usually half listen while we contemplate our response. We often miss a chance to establish a connection by being too quick to insert ourselves into the conversation or be right.
So, start actively listening to others with true intent. It’s the fast track to becoming likable and establishing good communication.
Lastly, look for shared interests.
When it comes to building rapport with another person, look for ways to establish common ground through shared interests.
Maybe both of you are amateur photographers? Or, maybe you both watch the same Netflix shows, fans of a sports team you love to watch or read the same books.
I guarantee you can find something in common.
On the chance that you don’t, they’ll know a skill or hobby you’re interested in learning about.
Try to think about communication and conversation as a moment to listen, learn, explore, and establish relationships.