Good Communication Starts with You

Humans love to talk, but not everything that comes out of someone’s mouth is considered communication, and not all communication comes from the mouth.  The words we speak only scratch the surface of how we communicate.  Voice tone and body language plays a much larger role than people realize.  So instead of thinking of what to say, concentrate on how to say it. Not only is effective communication vital for a healthy personal life, it is absolutely essential to succeed in the professional world. Communication shows up as one of the most sought-after skills employers want when interviewing prospective employees.

I used to be a poor communicator. I spat out my words as if people would just walk away if I couldn’t get my message out fast enough. I mumbled when I talked. I slouched with my hands stuffed comfortably in my pockets. Other than being told to “stand up straight”, I never really realized that these bad habits were adversely affecting the way people perceived and responded to me. Soon enough, I read up on communication and how body language and vocal tonality played a much more prominent role in getting my message across than I had realized. I also noted the signs of poor body language and made it a personal goal to correct these mistakes immediately.

It didn’t happen overnight, but after several months of paying attention and reprimanding myself, I started to get results. I noticed how people paid more attention and had greater interest in what I had to say. I also noticed everyone else and how I could tell what they were feeling based on their body language. It was almost like having a superpower! The confidence I gained helped to propel myself forward and talk to people I never thought I would have, and the best part is people are usually completely open to talking with strangers. It’s just up to you to make the first move.

There is a plethora of online resources on self-improvement, namely communication skills. Body Language shows eighteen ways to practice and improve positive body language. It also helps to recognize negative body language so you can avoid it and recognize how others feel. This Speaking site contains tips and exercises for all occasions. Even skimming some of the articles can have a profound impact. This Communication site links straight to an article on how others perceive you. It’s a great thing to think about in addition to the countless other helpful articles available.

People become at ease when they realize you are comfortable with yourself. It only takes one person to spread a positive vibe, and it’s catching. Be that person. Learn the truth. Be your best self. Look at yourself in the mirror, grab a tape recorder, or ask a friend for an honest opinion. You’ve got to do this sometime. It might as well be now.