Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, here are my top five tips for mastering professional communication:
MY TOP FIVE TIPS FOR MASTERING PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION:
When you are speaking with others in a professional setting, you will want to demonstrate that you are an engaging, dynamic speaker. This should not be forced or disingenuous. Rather, focus on exuding a natural energy that is motivated by a genuine interest in the person or people you are speaking with and the subject matter you are speaking about.
The best communicators, in a professional setting or otherwise, are listeners first. Be sure to truly listen whenever you are communicating with others. Make eye contact. Respond directly to what is being said. Share empathetic nods and knowing facial expressions. By listening fully, we learn a lot about the person or people we are speaking with. And in turn, we learn a lot about what is expected of us. This ensures that we deliver on (and exceed) expectations again and again.
Whether you are the CEO or the summer intern, your ability to communicate professionally will depend on your openness to learning. Learn new things daily and continue to do so over the course of your career. As a business owner, self-education allows you to stay ahead of the game and constantly improve your business. As an employee, striving to learn makes you relevant, and central to the business goals of your employer. By learning, you are also in a position to speak intelligently and impressively on progressive or key topics of interest in your industry.
Like anything else, communicating in a professional manner takes practice. As you speak, present, or connect with colleagues, clients, and others in your industry, consider what communication skills you excel at and what skills don’t come as naturally. Seek out opportunities to practice, and seize those opportunities to foster your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses.
While there is value in displaying professionalism and communicating professionally in certain environments, from time to time in non-professional settings, let down your guard. Disconnect from the professionalism. Allow yourself some breathing room. Be relaxed, free. This way, you are energized to be your best professional self when you need to be.
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