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Social Skills for Effective Face-to-Face Communication

by Sue Gench


Your body language such as facial expression, posture, movement, and tone of voice can help you convey the truth, sincerity, and effectiveness of your communication. Your body language can also undermine your message if your words are inappropriate for your message. The consistent wording along with consistent body language ensures effective communication.

Here are some tips for effective use of body language:

When talking to someone our eyes become the mirror of our meaning. Relax and keep steady eye contact with the person you are talking to.

Some people tend to talk too much about themselves, which kills the conversation quickly. You can get people talk about themselves instead of making them listen to you. This way will help other person feel more at ease and boosts his or her confidence. Further more, it invokes the other person to make an effort to reciprocate. For example, the question of "Are you enjoying the party?" could be phrased as "What do you think of the party?"

Phrasing your question properly is very important in communication. You may phrase your question to the person to make him or her think. Or, you may ask a leading question to make the person agree with you.

Do not ask the person's political affiliation, favorite culture, his/her religion! Imagine he or she answered in a way that is against your political affiliation, culture or religion, then how would you respond? Put the person in his or her place? Or with a polite but dishonest answer? So, don't put yourself into this awkward situation.

How about you're talking to a person with an accent? Then, ask where he's or she's from or take a guess, if you recognize the accent. But, do not interrogate the person with one question after another.

Listening with empathy means that you listen from your heart, put yourself in that person's shoe. If you listen with empathy, you are not judging the person'../conversation-lessons/credit-card.php">effective face-to-face communication.

You may have heard this expression: "You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Therefore, you should listen twice as much as you speak." Regarding people skills, this means that while the other person is talking, listen carefully. When listening with undivided attention, you will not get trapped with other thoughts crowding your head on what you have to say next. Keep focused. Then, after the person is over with talking, or if you can find a relevant response, cut in gently. Or follow up with a relevant question.




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