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Boost Your Communication Skills

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Dr. Dustin York is an Associate Professor at Maryville University in St. Louis. With clients including Pepsi Co. and Nike, he has experience in public relations and also worked on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.

He specializes in helping individuals hone their communication skills while understanding digital transformation. In this episode of Motivational Mondays, Dr. York shares practical strategies students can use to improve their communication skills.

WHAT STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION

Older generations say that “young people can’t communicate these days.” Dustin says they’re wrong. It’s normal for communication to change from generation to generation. Communication has become increasingly virtual over the years.

The current generation also wants to work fully remote, but Dustin believes it breaks down your ability to learn professional communication skills. How you communicate within a work environment is key to success and even promotions, and it’s easier to learn in-person.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPING NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Non-verbal communication is your brand. If you don’t brand yourself, you’ll be given a brand and it probably won’t be what you want. You have to ask yourself how you want to show up professionally. There are little things you can do to increase trustworthiness, likability, and authenticity.

So, how can you improve your non-verbal communication? Sit up straight and lean slightly forward. You’ll come across as welcoming, open, and trustworthy. If you lean backward, it psychologically builds a barrier between you and the other person. That’s non-verbal communication. The goal is to be memorable in a good way.

WHY CONFLICT RESOLUTION SKILLS CAN'T BE FORGOTTEN

You win during a conflict by letting the other person share their opinion first. For example, why do they think strawberry ice cream is the best? They’ll share their reasons. Then you say, “What I hear you saying is you think strawberry is the best because X, Y, and Z. Is that correct?” Don’t be passive-aggressive or condescending. Paraphrase what they just told you.

The goal is to get the other person to say “that’s right.” When you can demonstrate that you understood what they said, they’ll relax and listen to what you have to say. It moves you from conflict to conversation.

Listen to this episode to learn about...

  • [1:24] What students need to know about professional communication
  • [6:20] The importance of developing non-verbal communication skills
  • [13:48] Focusing on being authentic and memorable
  • [16:29] An exercise in conflict resolution
  • [20:28] Leadership communication vs professional communication

Listen to the bonus episode to learn the power of taking chances and facing challenges.

LISTEN TO THE BONUS EPISODE


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