Communications Tips

Read these 8 Communications Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Office tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I be a better communicator?

Effective Listening

Be a better listener by practicing the following habits:

  • Make appropriate eye contact.
  • Show interest through nonverbal signals (head nods, facial expression)
  • Avoid distracting gestures which show your mind is elsewhere
  • Ask questions
  • Paraphrase or restate what the speaker has said in your own words
  • Don't interruppt
  • Don't overtalk
  • For 2-way talk, practice making good transitions between the role of speaker and listener

       
  • How can I improve my email messages?

    Read That Email Before Sending

    When you send an e-mail, all the recipient sees are words on a computer screen. There are no facial expressions, gestures, or tone of voice to communicate (or moderate) your meaning —words are all they've got. So don't be hasty in hitting the "send" button. Re-read your message before dispatching it. Better yet, save it as a draft and allow a little time to pass before you review and send it.

       
    Is e-mailing acceptable in the workplace?

    E-Mail in the Workplace

    E-mail is not a completely private or confidential method of communication. Although directed to one person or a group, an e-mail can easily be forwarded to others. For this reason, e-mails should be written with care and should not include subject matter that you'd be uncomfortable sending to anyone other than the intended recipient.

       
    What should I include in a thank you note?

    Writing Thank You Letters

    Thank you letters should be warm and to the point. Try to avoid formal language. Instead write sincerely and express your honest feelings. Extend your thanks in the first paragraph. In the second paragraph, make a personal and specific comment about doing business with the client. Lastly, write another paragraph expressing your appreciation in a sincere manner and then close by thanking the client again.

       
    How can communicate better?

    For Best Results, Give Clear Instructions

    Sometimes in the rush of work, we give abbreviated or incomplete instructions. While this may be adequate to get the job done at times, it frequently leads to incomplete or undesirable work results. It's really worth the extra effort to make sure you're giving clear instructions. You'll be more likely to get the results you want because the people you supervise will understand what's expected of them.

       
    Is it appropriate to use computerized address labels for mailings?

    Handwritten Envelopes vs. Computer Labels

    If you routinely send informational mailings to large groups of recipients, computer generated address labels are the way to go. However, when a personal touch is required (for example when soliciting donations, funds or volunteer assistance), handwritten envelopes are a better choice.

       
    How can I improve my email messages?

    Improve Your Electronic Communications

    Sending e-mail and posting messages to user groups calls for strict adherence to the rules of 'netiquette.' Protect your professional reputation by using these communication tools judiciously and being courteous. Don't flame others, don't send spam, trim headers and garbage from your messages. In short, be considerate and professional in all your electronic communications.

       
    How can I communicate better?

    Courteous Communications

    Courteous communications are essential in the workplace. While it isn't necessary to be overly formal when talking with others, it is important to be polite, friendly and cooperative. What to avoid: adopting a brusque or dismissive attitude when talking with others.

       
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