One lesson I have learned — and embarrassingly, sometimes the hard way — is that talking is easy, but communicating well is extremely challenging.
Over the years, I've worked diligently to hone these skills while also discovering that communication doesn't have to be complex. An idea sparked and then snowballed into my mission to better inform and educate the amazing people working in the restaurant industry about all aspects of HR through the use of simple terms and a focus on what really matters.
And as I've witnessed over and over again, when someone can express themselves and communicate effectively, they tend to get hired, promoted, or are finally offered the opportunity to learn that new skill. In other words, they find success.
So how can you strengthen your communication skills and move ahead? Here are seven steps to get you there.
1. Keep the message simple.
When it comes to communication, less is often more. In our fast-paced society, we tend to try to cram as much as possible into each moment or encounter. But in doing so, you actually risk alienating your audience and leaving them confused about your message. Marie Forleo, an entrepreneur and founder of the career-focused show MarieTV, offers this simple reminder: "If you confuse people, you lose people."
2. Become a storyteller.
Any seasoned storyteller knows that you have to tailor your message to the audience. If the audience can relate on an emotional level, they're more likely to not only retain the information, but also reciprocate in the discussion. Excellent communicators act similarly, drawing in others with their words, creating emotional ties throughout often by interspersing their own personal details or experiences into the discussion too.