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December 18, 2012

Encouraging Changes People Desire

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Issue #18: December 18, 2012

Improving Communications Skills - Part 1
(Best New Years Resolution Yet!)

Great Communications is Rare! Have you ever really thought about how important communications skills truly are? Whether it's on the job, in our personal lives, or anywhere else, how well things are said can make the difference between success, and creating disasters. How things are communicated can make new friends, or start wars. Every day, some people even lose their lives because of lack of communications and/or miscommunications!

Now is a great time to make a resolution: I am so passionate on this subject that I have decided to write a series of articles on how to communicate better. I suggest you resolve to learn to improve your communication skills AND help others to do so, too!

Whether you are selling professional services, serving in the military, desiring to improve your marriage, raising your children, or whoever you normally interact with, improving how well you listen, speak, read and write will help you and the people you touch.

Why We Communicate? Often it is to influence other's thoughts, to encourage them to take actions desirable for the listener(s), the communicator(s), and others. We inform listeners about things they don't know, or remind them about things they have heard already, but may have forgotten because they haven't yet committed it to memory.

Great communication is information of interest or relevance that will likely be remembered. It may range from needs and desires of the communicator or others, to knowledge how to accomplish those needs or desires.

Improving Communications: Like so many important skills, learning to most effectively get your points across to others requires a large variety of other learned skills. The better the prerequisite skills, and the more they are used, the clearer and more effective the message will be.

Many Potential Variables: For people who speak to a wide variety of people (one at a time or in a group) on a wide variety of situations, communications can be challenging because of the many variables: What may be interesting and resonate with one person may be quite different to someone else.

Here are some important variables: 1) the goals for the communication, 2) planning and thoughts made prior to the communications, 3) who the other party is 4) how well both parties listen or read, 5) the words both parties say or write, 6) how well both parties speak or write, 7) questions asked, 8) body language and/or overall tone of conversation, 9) how each party comes across to the other, 10) everyone the communications potentially impact 11) openness and honesty 12) being consistent and focused, 13) how unpleasant subjects are dealt with, 14) when the conversation took place 15) how memorable was the exchange, 16) how the communication ended, and more.

Listen to my podcast about this newsletter article (Note: If you can't see the podcast control just below, find the backissues and find this article on my website.)

Issue #18 Podcast: Play/Download Podcast Here

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What’s Next? Future articles will explain the variables in more detail, the Dos and Don'ts when communicating, and give some examples of how these principles have worked for others and me.

Like this article? Want to learn more about communications before my next article is released? Or want to see past articles I've written? If so, go to my website, sign up for my monthly newsletter, and contact me.

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Larry Rudwick

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