If you haven’t taken the time yet to make your list of New Year’s Resolutions, you’re in luck. Here are five resolutions you can make (and actually keep!) that will also help you be more productive when it comes to conversing with others. While these resolutions mostly apply to verbal communication, almost all of them can be applied to written communication as well.
Get to the point
Less is more in many circumstances, especially when it comes to the spoken and written word. Why say 12 words when you could deliver the same message in only 4? You’re just wasting your own time, energy and breath.
Always speak the truth
This is not only a communication best-practice but also a PR 101 tactic: never lie. Lying about anything will only get you in trouble. Even if the truth may paint you or your business in an unflattering light, it’s better to have the truth come from you rather than to have others find out you lied or tried to cover something up.
Practice better body language
Sometimes you say the most when you’re not even speaking. Whether you have a habit of crossing your arms or not making eye contact, these visual cues can set a negative undertone to any conversation. It’s important to be mindful of your body language and to understand how you come across to others.
Learn to listen (actually listen!)
This is a skill that can be a lot harder than you’d think to master. Many people go through life waiting for their moment to talk rather than actually listening to what someone else is saying and then responding. Take the time to listen and understand what someone else is saying rather than just waiting for your turn to talk. Who knows, you might learn a thing or two.
Trim the fat
No, I’m not talking about diet and exercise right now, although that is a popular resolution. Cutting out the “um’s”, “likes” and “that’s” eliminates unnecessary words, making your thoughts clearer and more concise, and also makes you sound more prepared and intelligent in any conversation. Think about it – is there ever a time when you’ve received important information from an “um”? I didn’t think so.