3 Ways to Master Effective Communication

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How to keep your words laced with grace in order to move forward in strong relationships.

“This is disgusting.” “This doesn’t suit my taste.” Both statements convey the same message, but one is harsh while the other is laced with grace.  One statement disarms defenses, while the other builds them up.

Words matter. Tone matters. Women who want to achieve success in business and personal life must learn to master the nuances of positive, expressive communication without compromising the integrity of their message. So to get started, here are three keys to effective communication:

1. Convey the right message

My best friend always says, “All truth need not be spoken.” It may be true that your co-worker’s dress is hideous, but do you need to say it? Is it possible for the lunch date, staff meeting or networking event to continue successfully without you sharing that bit of truth?  

Successful women know the difference between what needs to be said and what they should keep to themselves. They know how to use their words to add value to a situation. So ask yourself before you speak: “How will my words positively impact the discussion at hand?”

2. Use the right tone

Whispering “Help!” when you should scream it, or screaming “I’m sorry for your loss,” when you should whisper it are surefire ways to undermine your message. But the right words coupled with the proper tone can fortify your sentiment and make your words more impactful. A clear, direct tone conveys confidence, while sarcasm and mumbling can weaken the effectiveness of your words. A successful woman knows how to select the tone that complements what she wants to say.

3. Judge the timing

The right words with the right tone at the wrong time can be disastrous. So when dealing with delicate subject matter, always ask yourself: “Is it a good idea to say this now? Does everyone here need to hear what I’m about to say?  Would waiting to say this increase the usefulness of my words?”

I hope you can employ the above approaches and find success through effective communication. Words wield the power to elevate or ruin any situation. Marrying our words with the proper tone and timing intensifies their power. As my favorite book says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”