In this article I want to talk to you about the importance of communication skills. In our life’s we communicate all the time. We communicate by phone, by email, body language, text messaging and of course the personal one to one communication.
Today I want to focus on the verbal side of communication. I want to teach you how you can become more skilled in one to one communications. This covers communicating over the phone and in person one to one.
Why The Importance Of Communication?
Being skilled in communication is extremely important whenever you are dealing with friends, family, clients, employers, women, strangers and other men. The way you communicate will decide how the conversation will follow and eventually end. Everyone knows that when you are having a negative and arrogant attitude, the person you are talking to will most likely respond to you in the same negative way.
If you always start off the conversation in a positive and calm way, you will instantly see and notice that people will respond to you in the same normal and calm way.
Of course this also depends what the situation is. It is different starting a conversation outside on the street with a random stranger then ordering your coffee in the local coffee shop.
Starting the conversation in a positive way will always give you a better result in the end. You will always accomplish much more and you will always benefit more from a positive attitude than that you start the conversation with a negative attitude and negative body language. Most people can feel your positive or negative energy in a one to one or phone conversation.
If you are starting a normal conversation and you are for example asking a stranger for directions then there is not much you should know about how to communicate with the other person.
However, if you are in a position where you are working for a company in customer service, then it is of extreme high importance that you poses high communication skills. I achieved my communication skills working as a customer service representative.
I had long educational trainings on communication and how to deal with customers and clients.
If you are working in a customer service position then you know that 99% of the calls you receive are about problems clients are having.
9 out of 10 times they start the conversation frustrated because something is not working for them. In a lot of times they blame you for the problems they are experiencing.
When clients or anyone else turns to you with their issues and they want you to solve it, it could be tricky communicating in the right way if you do not have good communication skills. You could get irritated by them, you could get annoyed or what even could be possible is that they start yelling to you and you yell back at them.
Yelling and shouting is the worst thing you could do in a conversation because it’s not going to bring you anywhere or solve anything. This behavior is only going to make things worse make get both parties more angry.
Instead, whenever a person is blaming you or yelling to you (it doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, family, client or stranger), you should always stay clam. Do not get on the same level as they are because it will only make things worse. Always let the other person finish what they have to say and listen to them!
When the other person is finished talking, acknowledge that you understood them and start with your reply.
The Reply – How To Effectively Reply
Like I just mentioned, when they finished their story, tell them you understood the situation and repeat to them briefly what they told you.
With this you are letting him/her know that you listened to them and you understand the situation. This will already give the other person a more relaxed feeling because he or she knows that you heard and understood them.
Now it’s up to you to give your meaning and thoughts and to come up with a solution for the problem.
Remember to stay polite, calm and without any doubts or hesitation in your voice. You are the one who knows how to solve the situation so you should be in charge of the whole conversation. Don’t let yourself be dominated by the other person!
When you are finished telling the other person you understood the situation it’s time to solve it. Because they turned to you in the first place, that means you are the one who knows what to do and how to solve it. So now you can start replying with the available options which could provide a solution for the issue.
Try to reply direct and in a clear way, trying to avoid stop words like: “uuhmm” or “aah”. This has two meanings… It states that you are not 100% sure of the situation and you don’t have an immediate solution ready. If this is the case that you don’t have a solution ready that’s fine, I don’t expect you to have a solution ready for every situation.
What you then should do is the following.. If you need to consult someone for the issue then tell them you have to consult someone and that you will be right back with them.
If you are looking for a solution yourself and you need some time to think about what could be the best solution, then don’t let there be a long silence while you are looking for a possible solution. Instead, tell them what you are doing so they don’t think you are busy with something else. Always keep them up to date with what you are doing to solve the issue.
When you are ready to provide a solution, tell them clearly what options they have. Mention one by one the solution options they have and finish your turn in the conversation with that. Be confident when telling so, do not be insecure about it. If you are, then they will try to overrule you, to take over the conversation and dominate you into a position where you will feel uncomfortable and you will lose your power.
There is of course a possibility that they do not accept your options for solving the problem. They will then try to get more out of you, that you will sometimes even not comply with company protocol and then you will be the one who’s getting the problems.
If this happens and they do not accept the options you are providing them, again tell them professionally, calmly and direct that this is what you can do for them and that’s it.
Sometimes clients will not settle for your options and insist on you taking more actions then you are allowed to or worse, they will try to get you to break company protocol.
Never give in to clients if you can’t do what they request from you. They might get angry and frustrated but so be it. Let them rage out and tell them again that these are their option. Tell them that of course you want to solve their problem right away if you could, but right now these are the only option they have.
If they start being aggressive towards you or start to insult you, never lower yourself to their level. Always stay professional and when they are insulting or being aggressive towards you, tell them that you will not accept such language and if they continue you will end the conversation.
You are in charge of the conversation since they want YOU to solve the problem.
If you are working for a company in a customer service job for example, and the clients you are having problems with, who do not accept your issue solving options, often want to speak with “a manager” or “your manager”. This is how they always say it in the most arrogant way as if the manager could break protocol and you can’t.
When this is the case, calmly reply and say that they will receive the exact same message from your manager or team leader and that there won’t be any difference. If they insist, just reply that you will transfer them or that you will get the manager to join the conversation. Your manager will then most likely tell them the same and that they can chose from the options you already provided them.
In most cases they will eventually accept the free drink, the 20% discount or the refund. If they do not, than there are no options left and you should not waste anymore time and you should terminate the conversation.
In general it does not matter where you are, to who you are talking or if you are working or not. You should always apply the same skills and conversation strategies I just mentioned.
Getting good at communication is also something you have to train. Try to pay good attention to your own words and behavior. A lot of times we are not aware of how we speak and how we present ourselves. Pay good attention to this and train yourself to become a good communicator.
A really good book for you to develope yourself on communication is the book: ‘The Art Of Communication’ by Thich Nhat Hanh.
You can get your copy here: The Art of Communicating