Some people are natural communicators; others take time to develop these skills. Whether or not you’re already an effective communicator, we’ve compiled a few tips that may help you out. 1. Listen Effective communication isn’t just about delivering a clear and concise message. Good listening is integral to communication; it’s all about exchange. Focus on the message being received, which listening not only to the words being spoken but how they are being spoken and the non-verbal messages sent with them. Listening can also help ensure you know what everyone is thinking. 2. Clarity Speak with direction. If you waffle on or are uncertain with what you are saying, others are less likely to listen to you. If you’re communicating to large group or something important, jot down exactly what you need to say. This will ensure you stay focused and not miss anything important. The same applies if you are giving direction to others on tasks to be carried out. Clear and concise communication is essential to ensure colleagues understand what is required. 3. Empathy and understanding Have you ever thought of what it would be like to put yourself in another’s shoes? Effective communication revolves around seeing things from the point-of-view of others. Try not to be judgemental or biased by preconceived ideas or beliefs. Stay in check with your emotions to enable you to better understand the emotions of others. If appropriate, offer your personal viewpoint clearly and honestly to avoid confusion. Effective communication isn’t just limited to the tips above. Encouragement, positivity, patience and respect are also key factors to delivering a message that is received well by colleagues and clients.