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How can I improve my communication skills?

As you go through life, certain skills take on more importance than others. Communication is one of those sills. Regardless of your plans after high school, communication is a tool you will always use. You’ll have to talk to co-workers, college professors, teammates, and friends.

Good communication skills take time and effort to perfect. Ready for the challenge? Read through some of the tips below and you’ll be well on your way!

  • Pay attention. When someone is telling you something, focus on what they are saying. If you don’t understand, politely ask questions. The best communicators are good listeners. Put away any distractions that take away your focus and try to really hear the other person out.
  • Give yourself time to understand the message. Some communications can be too much to take in at once. If you find yourself in that situation, it’s okay to take some time before you answer. Something like “Thanks for sharing that. Is it alright if I take a moment to think about what we’ve discussed?” is totally acceptable in most conversations. This will give you time to understand an issue and put together ideas on how best to solve a problem.
  • Don’t forget about body language! Sometimes, communication doesn’t involve words. The body gives off signals that could tell you a lot about how things are going. Keep an eye out for certain postures. This list gives you an idea of what some behaviors could mean.

It may not seem like much, but these tips take time to master. Good communication skills are in high demand and could have a large impact on your success at home, work or school. Take some time out today and practice your communication skills. Ask a friend or family member to roleplay a situation with you (like a job interview or a difficult conversation) and ask for their feedback.

Over time, you’ll see your skills improve!