“A touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment—the smallest act of caring improves every interaction.” ~Deborah King, Etiquette Expert
Although we have been communicating in some form since the beginning of time, never has such a common practice become so challenging. Communication today embodies more than the written word or the familiar face-to-face interaction—we also communicate through cell phones, email, text messaging and social media. Knowing which medium to use, and how to use them with class, is no small feat.
Today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing landscape requires each of us to refine our verbal, nonverbal, and technological skills to communicate with class. So, how do you resist falling victim to the many communication blunders that can tarnish your image and destroy your relationships?
Your polished image requires you to give attention to not only your appearance and behavior but your communication skills as well. We all have encountered someone who looks fabulous but behaves in a manner that has negatively impacted their credibility. It simply is not enough to select clothing appropriate for the situation and to execute your etiquette skills like a pro; you must also master your vocal delivery and refine your language. This total package will provide an overall consistent message, empowering your image and announcing to all that you are a leader in your field.
Preparation is the key to successful communication. Many believe that you are either born with the art of conversation, or you were not. This simply is not true. Good conversation does not just happen. You can master the needed skills to maneuver successfully through any social situation with ease.
- Vocal tone that is in the mid to lower range conveys more authority
- Enunciate words fully
- Avoid slang and vocal fillers….like, um, you know
- Maintain eye contact
- Limit blinking
- Stay focused
- Sit or stand facing the other person
- Maintain an open body posture
- Avoid fidgeting
- Keep an open mind
- Avoid interrupting
- Repeat to clarify
Communication would not be complete without including technology. The benefit of using technology is speed. We can quickly communicate a thought or message without requiring much effort. The challenge is to identify properly the best method to convey your message and then do so appropriately.
- Avoid using your cell phone to talk or text when with others
- Read your email or text out loud before sending to check for tone
- Never email or post anything you would not want to see on the evening news
Want to learn more? Get your copy of my e-book, ‘Communicate with Class: Tips for the 21st Century,’ from the Image Power book here.