I will share with you the 1 skill that you must learn and constantly improve on. I consider it the most important skill because mastery of this skill:
- Improves your relationships
- Helps you do better in school
- Increases your business earnings
- Helps you get promoted in career
The most important skill in life is learning how to COMMUNICATE.
As you become a better communicator, you will have a more prosperous, easier and happier life.
No One is BORN a Good Communicator
I used to be an extremely poor communicator. Unfortunately proper communication skills are not taught in school. It is ironic that schools will teach you skills and subjects that I never use today (calculus, physics, etc) but they forget to teach the most important skill that we have to use everyday!
I grew up as a shy and quiet kid and thought that you had to be “born” a good talker. I would always be jealous of people who could easily develop new relationships or knew what to say in class. I still remember back in college at Columbia about my lack of self esteem towards communication. Class participation was a big part of my grade in many classes but I had the worst attitude. Since I felt that I was not “born” a communicator and could never be a good talker, I would just sit in back of the class and never speak up. I would voluntarily give up the “A” grade and just settle for a “B” because I did not want to even bother “trying” to communicate.
Deep down, I always WANTED to be a good communicator but my main obstacle was my belief that people were “born” to be good speakers. I was always the shy kid who did not know how to open a conversation.
The Turning Point in My Life
One of the biggest turning points is when I discovered a book that changed my life. I still remember we were in a car and driving back from Vermont on a ski trip when I saw one of my friend’s friend read a book called “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” When I saw the title, I was amazed! It was a how-to book to be a better communicator and the next day I ordered the book online. My communication skills improved immediately once I started to read apply what I learned from the book.
I still remember how excited I was reading the book because for the first time in my life I felt all the secrets of “good talkers” were being revealed to me. The secrets were out! I wanted to learn and apply these skills immediately but the problem was once I put the book down I could not remember them! It sounds hilarious now since the concepts are very fundamental to me but back then, I was at a different stage in my life and everything was so new. I remember I would write down each lesson on a list and then memorize it. Each morning as I went jogging, I would repeat those lists over and over and over again so that it could “sink” into my mind. I would repeat them throughout the day and would make a conscious effort to “catch” myself applying a few of these skills during the day.
As with anything, the more you apply the things you have learned, the better you get. My communication skills slowly improved each day and then really took off after 2003 when I started my home business. My home business forced me to get outside my comfort zone and apply my communication skills every second of the day. (By the way, this is another reason why I recommend a home business. Even if you don’t make much money, you will be forced to learn and become a great communicator. If you want to learn how to choose a home business, you can Contact Me.)
Most Important Communications Concept
The most important concept to remember when it comes to communication is that NO ONE cares about what you have to say! The key to being a good communicator is to LISTEN to what others have to say. People like to talk about themselves and the subjects that concern them and the more you allow others to talk about themselves, the more you will be a “good communicator” and people will like you.
When I first learned this, it was strange because I always thought that you had to be a “good talker” and know what to say. The truth is that “good talkers” always know what to say because they are GOOD listeners. They know what subjects the other person is interested in so it is easy for them to ask questions and build a connection.
A good rule to follow is the 80/20 rule, which is often called the Pareto Principle. The 80/20 rule says that the other person should talk 80% of the time while you talk only 20% of the time.
Examples of Poor Communicators
– Can you think of someone that you can not stand because they love to talk and talk and talk? Even when you don’t want to talk, they keep talking. That is an example of a poor communicator because he is doing more talking than listening.
– Can you think of someone you can’t stand because they love to talk about themselves?! For these people, it’s always “me, me, me!” We can’t stand them because they often talk about things that only they are interested in. They show no concern whether we are interested to listen to them or not.
– Can you think of an annoying salesman that you wanted to run away from? Chances are that salesman never asked you any questions or got to know what your needs were and would just do his “sales pitch.”
How You Can Improve Your Communication Skills
– Accept the fact that good communicators are made and not born.
– If you have not done so, go get a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and your communication skills will improve immediately once you apply the lessons in the book. If you have read this book already, I highly recommending rereading it. It is one of my top 10 books that I reread every year so that I keep the skills fresh in mind.
– Notice the good communicators around you in everyday conversations. Who are the ones that are genuinely interested in the other person and allowing others to talk more?
To become a good communicator, you can read my post 5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Communication Skills
Have a great week!