8 Characteristics of an Effective Communicator
People are complex, with a myriad of different life experiences that make us who we are, and which inform the way we perceive and respond to the world around us, including our working relationships.
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
An effective communicator is worth their weight in gold. The ability to communicate with clarity is in itself a skill, add to this advanced interpersonal skills, which enable meaningful working relationships, and you get a highly valuable team member who regularly gets the best out of themselves and their colleagues.
Good working relationships start with good communication. With this in mind, I’ve complied 8 characteristics that are consistent with effective communicators.
1. They Show Respect
“Every human being has an inner sense of worth, of importance, of dignity. Wound that and you have lost that person forever.”
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
It may seem obvious, but recognising the inherent value innate in every team member is the starting point of any effective personal relationship.
2. They Demonstrate Genuine Intent
“Happiness is that state of consciousness from the achievement of one’s values.”
Effective communicators like to learn new things, and have a genuine interest in people – derived from a deeper sense of self-worth and purpose.
3. They Are Self-Aware
“To be able to listen to oneself is a prerequisite for the ability to listen to others; to be at home with oneself is the necessary condition for relating to others.”
Having a deeper understanding of the why behind their own behaviour, enables effective communicators to have a better appreciation of the conduct of people they interact with.
4. They Listen Well
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Stephen R. Covey
As with many relationship skills, effective listening can be learnt. Effective communicators will read body language, as well as pay attention to more subtle signs like intonation and tone of voice.
5 They Seek to Understand
“To disagree well you must first understand well.”
In addition to listening well, effective communicators have the capacity to understand others’ point of view before responding, enabling them to participate in a rewarding collaborative process which avoids damaging conflict.
6. They Practise Emotional Intelligence
“In a high-IQ job pool, soft skills like discipline, drive, and empathy mark those who emerge as outstanding.”
It is by practising emotional intelligence that effective communicators can prevent feelings of frustration or injustice to cloud their vision. This means they are ready to deploy the strengths appropriate to the situation.
7. They Show Empathy
“Walk with me for a while, my friend—you in my shoes, I in yours—and then let us talk.”
Richelle E. Goodrich
Empathy goes beyond just giving people the benefit of the doubt – it allows effective communicators to make a genuine connection with people, by relating to them on a deeper, more meaningful level.
8. They Can Adapt Their Communication Style
“The proper question is not ‘How can people motivate others?’ but rather the conditions within which others will motivate themselves?’”
Effective communicators understand how to get the best out of people by ‘talking their language’. They will adopt a communication style appropriate to the situation.
“The more a personality theory can be for a person, rather than about a person, the better it will serve that person.”
Relationship Awareness Theory takes each individual on a personal journey of self-discovery. Giving learners a greater understanding of why they behave the way they do, together with an appreciation of why behaviour changes in challenging circumstances – including how to manage the consequent personal conflict.
Building on this as a foundation, we can develop the life skill of knowing when to deploy, and when to not deploy, the strengths best suited for any given situation. These enhanced interpersonal skills lead to the effective communication which is so vital in all working relationships.
If you are new to Relationship Awareness training, you might like to join us on our upcoming ‘Getting People Working Better Together’ Webinar on Friday 2nd March – you can register here.
Matt Leighton, Marketing Executive
A self-described lifelong learner, Matt has a genuine interest in what makes people tick, and how to get the best out of them. One of Matt’s roles at Personal Strengths UK is to keep banging the TotalSDI drum, sharing powerful Relationship Awareness Theory messages to get people working better together, through sustainable ‘people improvement’ training programmes using TotalSDI.