Become a Master Business Communicator in 5 Steps

The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has already taken place.

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  1. Be objective.

    Always state the situation objectively and acknowledge it. State what you don’t intend and clearly express what you want. At Changing Minds, the writer expresses the concept intuitively: “Have you ever been in a conversation where the other person said something like ‘Let’s look at this in another way. If you stand back and look at the problem objectively, it seems less important?’

    Taking an objective stance has a calming effect, helping people to see things as they really are or from a different viewpoint. Objectivity works in two ways. First, it helps to remove emotion, allowing people to think more rationally. The other use of objectivity is that it provides neutral territory that allows an equitable discussion to take place.”

  2. Listen to understand, not to respond.

    There is a big difference between listening to respond and listening to understand. The truth is this: most of the time people aren’t looking for a solution from you because they already know the answer. What they are really looking for is your understanding.

    During a conversation, repeat back what the other person has told you in their own words to get confirmation. You do it for two reasons: a) to make sure you have really understood the problem, and; b) most importantly, your affirmation gives them confidence that they’ve been understood.

  3. Clarify context and brainstorm solutions.

    What does context really mean? It’s about understanding where the other person is coming from, the background and digging deeper before you jump to provide solutions. When you take something out of context, a word, phrase, or conversation is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning. Before you can come to a solution, all parties must be aware of the intended context of your conversation.

This article has been edited and condensed.

Yamini Virani is the Founder of Celebrus Business Strategies, a management consulting and business advisory firm, that works with small business owners who want to make the Top 10 list. Connect with @yaminivirani on Twitter.

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