“Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skill so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people” Jim Rohn
Industry 4.0 and communication skills –
After industry 3.0 which was a boom of the dot com era and information technology now as we enter industry 4.0, we start embracing more digital technologies such as Artificial intelligence ( AI ), Robotics, the Internet of things (IoT), automation, and advanced analytics.
According to the ‘World Economic Forum’( WEF ), by 2025, it is expected to shift to 48% human and 52% machines or algorithms. There will be a co-existence of robotics, automation, and human empathy.
With the intensification and expansion of industry 4.0, many are also realizing that the advancement of technologies would complement rather than replace human skills. So, the role of one of the major interpersonal skills ‘Effective communication’ starts interplaying between people and advanced technologies.
How to be an Effective Communicator?
Communication skill in many forms has always influenced mankind since time immemorial. In today’s fast-changing world effective communication skills undeniably elevate your personal and professional relationship in every sphere of life. Here are four areas you must focus on to develop your effective communication skill –
Practice Active Listening
– Have you ever jumbled up the word ‘Silent’? Try it out .. It would produce the word ‘Listen’. Amazing! Silence is golden!
“ Active listening is a key to all healthy and effective communication, however, it does not necessarily come easily”
So, active listening is a major area of effective communication skill that needs to be acquired, developed, and maintained.
Active listening has three major prerequisites –
A. Commit Yourself –
As Stephen R. Covey rightly said “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply”. Time for you to commit yourself that whatever distractions or attractions come on your way first you will listen attentively without being influenced.
B. Right Practice –
You need to constantly tell your mind and condition your mind slowly that whenever you listen to a talk you do not interfere in between.
This practice will make your neural pathways stronger and you will be a good listener.
C. Don’t be Judgemental –
“ If you keep judging people, you will never have time to love them” Mother Teresa
Non-judgemental active listening ensures that the speaker in the opposite end feels valued, respected, and honored. Maintain positive body language and adopt an attitude of acceptance sincerely while ensuring non-judgemental listening.
Asking The Right Question –
For effective communication asking the right question at the right time is a major key to building the connection, conveying, and influencing your audience with the right message.
“ The important thing is not to stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein
- Learning and practicing asking Open and Closed Questions –
Open questions are likely to give long influenced answers in the communication. Usually, you ask open questions with where what, why, who, How, which, or when?
In a communication when we say – “ Share me your idea” or “ What is your idea about the future fit organization?”
All such questions elicit longer answers.
Be cautious, careful, and planned enough in your communication when to ask open-ended questions.
On the flip side asking closed questions are likely to give short, influenced answers, these answers are mostly just yes/ no or single word answer.
So, as you can make out that in an effective communication asking the right pattern of questions ( open or closed ) at the right time with the right people shall surely establish you to be an excellent communicator. Practice it ..
Develop Storytelling Abilities –
The famous Athenian philosopher Plato in his book ‘Republic’ mentioned that the future will be ruled by storytellers.
But, storytelling abilities do not indicate an over commitment or exaggerated statements.
Remember content is king. But it does not make sense when you present your ‘king’ in an improper, unfashionable, disengaging, and disconnected look. It would never create an impact in the mind of the audience.
Storytelling ability is a learnable element in communication skills where a storyteller can easily connect and convey his message to the audience. When your content is rich and engaging and you are presenting it ( storytelling abilities ) in a lucid, stylish, charismatic way with super empowering expression think what wonders it can make!
“The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story. This truth applies both to individuals and institutions.” – Michael Margolis
4. Practice Public Speaking–
Public speaking is a major integral part of communication. Effective Public speaking enables your audience to get informed about your message, register your message, get influenced about your message, and finally get acted on it. Along with storytelling abilities here are 5 Tips for effective and seamless public speaking –
A. Anxiety is normal, accept and manage it –
Because of the adrenaline rush your palm may get sweated. Nervousness is natural. Do not worry. Accept it. This may only go with repeated practice. Make your neural pathways even stronger.
Learn to manage yourself. Fist your palm and tell yourself repeatedly “God, give me strength. I can do it”, “come on (pronounce your name) and tell “you can, much better than anybody else in this room”. Talk to you yourself internally in an enthusiastic and empowering way.
B. Know Your Audience –
Figuring out your audience, their average age, sex, culture, preferences are very important requirements to align your speech relevantly and engaging.
Based on your audience you have to carefully choose your words, quotations, anecdotes and craft your final content. Remember this.
The same is equally applicable while Writing Content.
C. Grabbing Attention or Connecting in the first 60 seconds –
Are you aware of ‘Elevator pitch’? This is a special learnable effective communication skill where you have only 60 seconds time to connect and convey about you to the person you are talking to.
Remember in public speaking grabbing the attention or connecting with the audience in the first 60-90 seconds is extremely important. In the beginning post introduction about you using a quotation or telling an anecdote or injecting some humor excite the audience and make them interested in you.
Remember communicating is all about ‘Connecting’. Connect and convey ….
D. Body Language –
Body language or non-verbal skillsets not only play a major role in public speaking but also influence a lot on the audience. Remember – “ You will never get a second chance to make your first impression”
While addressing the public one needs to be very careful about proper attire, posture, gesture, eye contact, smiling face, hand movements, facial expressions, and overall energy and enthusiasm level.
E. Practice, Practice, and Practice…. –
Repetition is the mother of skill as rightly said by Tonny Robbins.. If you want to be an efficient, eminent, and effective communication expert practice it perfectly, regularly, and repetitively. Once you start practicing this skill regularly your neural pathways become accustomed, stronger, and habitual.
Key Takeaway Message – Industry 4.0 and communication skill goes hand in hand in order to build, maintain and nurture the meaningful relationship in our personal and professional life. So, are you ready to acquire active listening skills and storytelling abilities first? Are you ready to be flexible, to be stylish, to be charismatic, to have enough confidence, and relevant contents are you ready to win over your audience with a smiling face and the right body languages?
Note – Simple strategies explained, inputs given, ideas shared. If you are reading this sentence now its your turn to take decision and start action on developing one of the major ‘Future-Ready’ skill – Effective Communication.
Give your comments in the comment section.
Meanwhile, we promise to come back with the next ‘Future-Fit’/ ‘Future-Ready’ skill .. Hold your breath!