At Exeve, we believe that confidence plays a huge role in being able to communicate effectively with others, which is the starting point for all our bespoke communications programmes. Confidence alone, however, is not the only element of good communication. Here are the other skills you’ll need…

Listening: Communication is a two-way thing which means that listening is equally as important as talking. Listening well means not just understanding the words or information being communicated, but also understanding the meaning or emotion behind them.

There’s a big difference between listening and hearing. When you engage fully with what’s being said, and you focus your attention on the speaker while they are talking, you’ll pick up on subtle cues – their body language, intonation or facial expressions – which underlie the main focus of the message.

Perception: While understanding what is being said is an important skill in itself, being able to pick up on the non-verbal signals can help you connect with the person you’re communicating with, express what you really mean, navigate challenging situations, and build better relationships.

Developing the ability to understand and use non-verbal communication can help you to fully understand the context of what you are being told.

Calmness: To communicate effectively, you need to be aware – and in control – of your emotions. That means keeping stress in check. If you’re feeling stressed or under pressure, it’s easy to misread or misinterpret other people, send confusing nonverbal signals, and overreact. Staying calm under pressure by giving yourself time to think, speaking concisely rather than waffling and not shouting can help diffuse difficult situations and reduce the risk of causing an argument or saying something you may regret.

Confidence: As mentioned previously, confidence holds the key to good communication. If you’re naturally nervous during conversations, there are a few things you can do to boost your self-belief.

Value your opinions, particularly if you have expertise in what you are talking about. Your ideas are as valid as anyone else’s.

Have a plan. Go into a conversation knowing exactly what you want from it and how you are going to achieve it.

Express yourself calmly and clearly and put across any negative points in a positive way. Even if you’re angry, it’s important to show respect to who you’re talking to.

And don’t be afraid to say no or disagree.

Exeve’s bespoke communications training programmes look at a range of different forms of communication – from face-to-face and verbal to ‘blind’ communications such as email, text messages and social media, to demonstrate how people can interpret – or misinterpret – what you are trying to communicate and the impacts that may have on the recipient.

The outcome is to give people a full understanding of the impacts of their communications on other people.