Communicating Effectively For Dummies
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Communicating effectively involves not only speaking well, but listening well, too. Active-listening tools, such as those in the following list, help you hold up your end of a successful conversation or discussion.

  • Concentrate on what the speaker has to say.

  • Listen for content and emotion to understand the entire message.

  • Maintain steady eye contact so speakers know your attention is with them.

  • Reflect back with verbal feedback to confirm your understanding of the message.

  • Stay patient when people talk to you.

  • Keep your tone sincere and nonjudgmental when you listen.

  • When you give feedback to check understanding, do so in one sentence.

  • Tune into how the message is being said, not just what the words are.

  • Acknowledge feelings that are important to the message you’re hearing.

  • Make your goal in conversations to show understanding of what the speaker truly means.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Marty Brounstein is the Principal of The Practical Solutions Group, a training and consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay area that specializes in management and organizational effectiveness. Marty's consulting work includes one-on-one coaching with managers and executives, assistance to groups working to become productive teams, and guidance and direction for organizations establishing practices for high performance and employee retention. His training programs target management as well as employee-development issues including leadership, team development, customer service, and effective communication.

As a consultant, speaker, and trainer since 1991, Marty has served a wide variety of organizations from high tech to government, for profit to not-for-profit. He has a bachelor's degree in education and history and a master's degree in industrial relations. Prior to beginning his consulting career, he spent a couple of years as a human resources executive.

This is Marty's fourth book and second for Hungry Minds, Inc. He is the coauthor of Effective Recruiting Strategies: A Marketing Approach and author ofHandling the Difficult Employee: Solving Performance Problems. In 2000, he wrote Coaching and Mentoring For Dummies.

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