Develop simplicity

Simple messages and communications convey sincerity, integrity, confidence and truth.  Make an effort to streamline your communications.  This is particularly important when saying no.  Don’t feel a need to provide excuses and explanations.  You don’t want people to think that your no is up for argument.

Speak with purpose

Get to the point.  If you tend to waffle, reflect on what it is you want from conversations in advance.  This should help you be more concise.

Be objective, not subjective

Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people”.  Become a great mind.  If you want to demonstrate trust and openness, and create a safe space for people to be frank with you, then avoid sharing too many opinions.  They often don’t add anything.  Definitely avoid gossip.

Say what you mean, mean what you say

Language can be a way to show integrity.  Integrity is a starting point for trust.

Be natural

Own your unique self expression, as it is a way you can cultivate confidence.  Don’t over fixate on eloquence; concentrate on being distinct and real.

Be really present

Become aware of when your mind is drifting in conversation.

Check your non-verbal communication isn’t giving off wrong signals

Keep an eye on your own and other peoples’ body language.

Know your audience

Meet people where they are, instead of where you are.  What are the needs of the audience?

Don’t always rush to fill silences

It takes confidence initially, but allowing for pause in conversation gives everyone the permission to think a bit more about their responses.  Plus, this allows for conversation to become more creative.

Eliminate distractions

Do not use your smartphone (or keep it in eye-shot) when you are speaking with people unless you have very good reason.  Remember how it feels when other people do that to you, and that the biggest gift you can give anyone is your attention.