Final Five Habits of Successful Communicators

Each of the last four weeks, I have shared the top habits of good communicators — what are the behaviors and ingrained ways of being that make the most successful communicators the best at what they do? — based on Honestly Speaking . These are habits — not just one-and-done tactics you try — that effective communicators develop, hone, and deploy. This week is the penultimate batch.

As we’ve talked about, good communicators work at it, and some of being good at communicating is honing your skills, while other parts are more about working on yourself.

Find more of these habits and other tools to help you communicate better in Honestly Speaking: How the Way We Communicate Transforms Leadership, Love, and Life available now wherever books are sold.

Here are the final five habits. I’d love to hear what you think.

  1. They don’t make things up. This might sound obvious (it should be!) but sometimes a quick “white lie” about an accomplishment or motivation, or even an excuse to not go out on a date with someone, can have disastrous consequences. Honesty is always the best policy.
  2. They are the same person online as they are in real life. Sure, you’ll have some differences based on the platform (your Facebook posts might look different than your LinkedIn posts, for example), but they shouldn’t be that different.
  3. They respect other people’s time, energy, and privacy. This should go without saying, but particularly in the age of social media it bears repeating: ( A ) Emails should be short, succinct, and used sparingly. “Reply All” is often unnecessary. ( B ) Never text or message someone with something that might be interpreted as urgent when it’s not. (For example, saying “give me a call” without any additional context.) This goes back to direct communication; if less is more (and it is!) then use your words to state what you want to state as opposed to making someone guess what you want. Do people the courtesy of allowing them to prioritize. (C )Don’t overshare. This is a fine line and really depends on your comfort level. Just keep in mind that in posts on social media, texts with friends, or even lunchtime conversations with colleagues, you really don’t need to tell everyone every single detail. ( D )Don’t tag people on social media or call them out (particularly in regards to posting pictures) without their consent. This gets annoying fast and can definitely feel like a violation of trust.
  4. They are respectful overall. They are respectful of themselves, of those they are talking to, of the medium, of the time, and of the content. It’s not about the communicator as much as it’s about everything and everyone else.
  5. They acknowledge there is always work to be done to be a better communicator. Being great at communication means understanding that it’s a never-ending, multi-laned street. Some days you will simply be better at this than others, and that is okay. The goal isn’t to be perfect all the time, it’s to be conscientious all the time.

Find the rest of these habits and other tools to help you communicate better in Honestly Speaking: How the Way We Communicate Transforms Leadership, Love, and Life available now wherever books are sold.

Communications and culture leader, author, certified coach, lawyer, yoga teacher. www.azureleadership.com/honestlyspeakingbook