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Effective communication is essential to one’s development and advancement. Without effective communication, you will fall behind in many areas of your personal and professional life.

Below are some essential suggestions for you to remember if you want to increase the clarity and effectiveness of your communication:

1. Listen Carefully

We all battle with this, let's face it. Recognize the other person's thoughts and feelings. Don't interrupt them, pay attention, and be patient with them. Cutting someone off makes it difficult to understand what they are saying and is also disrespectful. When they're done, give your opinion.

2. Body Language

We frequently underestimate the importance of our body language. After all, actions are more powerful than words. Even if you don't say anything, your facial expressions, eye contact, and gestures reveal everything.

Improve your posture through exercise. To encourage positive feelings, stand tall and smile. When speaking with someone, always make eye contact. Make use of open-body gestures. Keep an eye on your facial expressions and tone of voice. Simultaneously, educate yourself on various nonverbal communication signals found in various countries, cultures, and societies. The handshake, for example, is considered impolite in some countries but is common practice in NZ.

3. Read and Write

Read and write as much as you can to improve your verbal communication. Read books, newspapers, comics, blogs, or anything else to expand your vocabulary and improve your writing skills. Similarly, watching sitcoms and movies can help improve one's communication skills.

4. Ask Questions

To help clarify things, ask questions. Keeping someone engaged by asking questions demonstrates that you are interested in having a conversation. Additionally, it helps overcome the fear of small talk.

5. Manage Stress

Stress can be a significant barrier to effective communication. Learn to deal with it. Use humour in your conversations, stay calm, exercise regularly, and drink plenty of water.

It takes years of practice to be able to communicate clearly, concisely, and coherently. As a result, incorporate the steps listed above to not only improve your communication skills, but also the quality of your life.

- Robin Olivier (ActionCURVE NZ)

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