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Posts tagged ‘Communication’


The Eyes Have It

Eye contact can be tricky. Looking directly into someone’s eyes can be seen as hostile and even rude in some cultures. However, avoiding contact indicates sneakiness and the need to avoid disclosure. The solution is “soft eye contact.” Look at the person’s cheek, forehead, nose, chin or mouth. They think that you are looking directly at them even though you are avoiding direct eye contact.

When addressing a group, regularly look around the room and make eye contact with someone for a few moments, then move on. Use short, frequent glances, but do not stare. Each person will think you are paying attention to him or her, and you will seem to be in control of the room.


Three Tools for Better Communication

One of the most common problems in communication is understanding the difference between what is said and what is heard. The key is learning to be a good listener. Here are three tools you can use to be a better listener when you’re speaking with someone on the telephone or face-to-face:

  • Verify.

Once the person has said what they want to say, verify what you think you heard. For example, use the phrase, “So, you’re saying that…” or “If I understand correctly, you said…”

  • Question.

Use phrases like, “What do you mean when you say…?” or “Have you really spent…?” These will help you further clarify that what you heard is what was said.

  • Acknowledge.

If you are in a face-to-face conversation, look at the speaker and nod to show interest and understanding. You can also occasionally say, “hmmm” or “oh, right” whether it’s a face-to face or telephone conversation.

Being a good listener can save you frustration, misunderstanding, and even time and money. Practice using these tools and see what a difference they can make!