If you are looking to be successful in business (and life in general), you should give some consideration to how you interact with those around you. Communication skills, or lack thereof, can make or break many of your business relationships. You see, communication is about much more than speaking to someone. There’s writing, listening, eye contact… In order to be a successful businessman or businesswoman, it is essential that you do it all. Take a look at these vital communication skills and see how you measure up!

  1. Listening: When people think of communication, they often overlook the give and take of the verb. It’s not just talking, but rather communicating your contributions while also actively receiving your counterparts. Active listening will help you to converse, debate, lead and negotiate both effectively and efficiently. It will also allow the other person the pleasure of knowing that they are actually being heard- not just talked to.
  2. Public Speaking: Can you speak comfortably and clearly to the public? Being able to make announcements clearly will show everyone around you that you are indeed the leader- and can handle public pressure. Whether it’s pitching ideas to an audience or running team meetings, someone’s got to do it and do it well!
  3. First Impressions: When meeting someone for the first time you get one chance to clearly communicate to them who you are and how you go about doing things. Practice your first impressions and never skip on an opportunity to meet someone new.
  4. Conflict Management: Your business associates need to know that you can handle conflict in a mature and responsible manner. If they think that you will react emotionally to bad news they may end up keeping things from you.
  5. Body Language: What does your body language say about you? Make yourself aware of looking closed off by crossing your arms or seeming disinterested by looking all over the room. Try to keep your arms relaxed at your side, shoulders back, and maintain eye contact. Nonverbal cues can say just as much as your words themselves. Therefore it’s important to keep an eye on them. Communicate confidence! When you effectively communicate this to those around you, they will feel it and often become more confident themselves.
  6. Giving and Receiving Constructive Feedback: No one likes being criticized, it doesn’t feel good, That’s why it is important that you take care to give constructive feedback instead of just telling someone that you don’t agree with what they did or said. Also, be sure to take your feedback in a mature way.

Keep working on these skills and watch the relationships around you transform!