Communication Skills – First be a good listener

Have communication skills changed in the digital age?

The underlying principles are the same, the way we apply them has moved on…

Last week I mentioned Dale Carnegie’s book How To Win Friends and Influence People. It contains some solid advice about how to approach social media.

That book was mostly about communication skills, of course.An Ear - essential for your communication skills

Number seven on the list of nine was this top tip:

Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

Being a good listener is self-evidently a good idea. But let’s translate that into Facebook and Twitter advice.

Be a Good Listener

Listen to what your fans and followers are saying. Not just the things they’re saying to you, or about you. Listen to what they’re saying to each other too.

If you’re just starting out on social media and don’t have many followers, this is the key. Finding out what interests them is pretty straightforward, certainly on Twitter. Just pick some followers and read what they’ve said!

Encourage others to talk about themselves

The second part of Dale Carnegie’s top tip was encourage others to talk about themselves.

Success on Facebook relies on you encouraging your audience to share, like and comment. And one of the most simple and effective techniques is to simply ask them questions they can answer quickly about their own experience.

Even ‘sharing’ fits with Mr Carnegie’s tip. If you post a picture or comment that really resonates with your audience they will share, simply because it’s what they would have said if only they’d thought of it!

So listen to your audience, wherever they might be, and then start encouraging them to discuss things they care about.

Like Dale’s original book, good communication skills seem obvious. But how good are we at taking his advice?

Does that make sense to you?

Photo: cc – Travis Isaacs – Flikr 


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