What are the Characteristics of a Good Communicator?

Updated 16 December 2022

Communication is often a helpful skill for professionals across varying industries. Professional operations typically include many forms of communication, such as negotiating with business partners, collaborating with colleagues and liaising with clients and customers. Identifying the characteristics that make an excellent communicator can help you develop your communication skills and use them in the workplace. In this article, we list several characteristics of a good communicator and share some helpful tips to consider that can help you communicate effectively.

10 characteristics of a good communicator

Below, you can explore some characteristics of a good communicator:

1. Active listening

While discussing topics with clarity is often beneficial, listening to others can also be an excellent communication practice. Active listening is a characteristic that many excellent communicators possess. If you listen to the other person, you can absorb their information and improve your contributions to the discussion. If you show the other person you're actively listening, it suggests you value their contributions, outlining your respectfulness. Active listening can also help with negotiations because identifying the other party's opinions and points can help you negotiate better deals or reach a mutual agreement.

Related: Reflective Listening: Steps, Tips, Benefits and Examples

2. Precision

Communicating with precision can be a beneficial trait for many types of communication. If you communicate precisely, it typically means you convey your message while excluding irrelevant information. For example, when meeting with investors, your goal might be to convince them of the potential financial success of an operation, encouraging them to invest in the company. If you communicate precisely during the meeting, you can provide investors with the information they require for making their decision. Discussing irrelevant information might reduce their engagement in the conversation and cause them to lose focus or forget talking points.

Related: 12 Essential Communication Techniques for All Professionals

3. Confidence

In many types of communication, your credibility as a professional and individual can help you convey your message and influence others. Confidence is typically a characteristic that can prove your credibility. Communicating confidently suggests you believe in what you're saying and trust your information, encouraging others to feel the same. For example, when implementing changes to a business, you might discuss the change management strategy, explaining why the change is important and outlining how the workforce can achieve change. Employees may feel inclined to trust your opinions if you discuss these topics confidently.

Related: How to Become Confident In Speaking (Plus Importance)

4. Empathy

Empathy is an interpersonal quality that helps you consider the perspective of others and identify their feelings. This is often a characteristic of an excellent communicator, particularly in negotiations and conflict management. For example, if you're acting as a mediator between two colleagues in an interpersonal conflict, your empathy can help you understand both sides of the disagreement. Your empathetic approach can allow you to determine each colleague's perspective of the disagreement, providing a clear understanding of the conflict. If you understand their feelings and opinions, you can help mediate a resolution between the two colleagues.

Related: What Are Empathic Skills? (With Benefits and Steps)

5. Self-awareness

Being self-aware is a characteristic that's often helpful in communication. It helps you identify your contributions to a discussion and determine if they're beneficial or divisive. For example, if you're in a meeting with project team members, you might discuss the test parameters for a new product. If you're self-aware, you may identify you lack the skills and knowledge in software testing to make valuable contributions to the meeting. Your self-awareness helps you determine that it's more productive for the team if you allow more qualified individuals to contribute to this part of the discussion.

Related: Examples of Self-Awareness In the Workplace (With Benefits)

6. Friendliness

Friendliness is an excellent trait in many aspects of life, including communication. If you're friendly, other people often assume you're agreeable and approachable, encouraging others to contribute to discussions. A friendly demeanour typically influences those around you, creating a comfortable and amicable environment for discussions, which can encourage honesty and creativity. Friendliness might also enhance your negotiations, as other parties in the negotiations might feel more inclined to compromise to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Related: Maintaining a Positive Attitude at Work: 10 Top Tips

7. Appreciation

Showing appreciation for others during communication is often an excellent trait for communicators in management and leadership positions. Showing appreciation for others may improve their motivation and sense of purpose, leading to more productive discussions. For example, if you're in a brainstorming session to find solutions with team members and show your appreciation for their contributions, they're more likely to continue contributing to the session. Like being friendly, appreciating others creates a comfortable environment for discussions where everyone feels comfortable contributing creative ideas, even if they don't eventuate into solutions.

Related: Communication Skills for Managers (Including Examples)

8. Organisation

Organising your discussions is typically a characteristic that helps you communicate precisely. Depending on the discussion, there might be extensive talking points and facts to communicate. These talking points and facts might also require a specific sequence to convey the right message. For example, if you're trying to convince company executives to approve a project proposal, it's often helpful to enter the meeting with organised talking points and material. If you organise your communication for the proposal, you can remain on topic, discuss relevant information and convey the right message to the executives.

Related: How to Communicate Effectively In the Workplace (With Tips)

9. Respect

Many excellent communicators show respect for everyone in the discussion. If you show respect for someone, it typically means you consider and value their opinions, act politely and show that you're actively listening. Respectful environments often encourage integrity and honesty, which can help with effective communication. For example, when negotiating a contract with a supplier, your respect for the supplier can encourage them to reciprocate with the same level of respect. This can foster healthy relationships with business partners and encourage them to reach mutually beneficial agreements in negotiations.

Related: What Is the Importance of Soft Skills? (7 Key Reasons)

10. Reliability

For remote communications, reliability can be a beneficial characteristic to possess. Regarding communications, reliability means others can trust you to respond when required. For example, if you're a reliable communicator, you attend virtual meetings on time, are available for planned phone calls and reply to emails or messages promptly. Being a reliable communicator can help you foster trust with clients, colleagues and supervisors, leading to healthy relationships. It can also show your professionalism and skills, such as time management and organisation.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Professionalism

Tips for communicating effectively

Below, you can explore several tips to consider that may help you improve your communication:

Identify with whom you're talking

Depending on who you're communicating with, you might alter your communication to improve a discussion. For example, if you're a software developer, you may understand complex terminology and processes, but if you're discussing a project with a client who has minimal expertise in software development, they might not understand the discussion. It's often helpful to adjust your communication to ensure the people involved understand your message and can absorb the information you provide. You can explain complex terminology in simple terms, avoid industry jargon and ensure the individuals understand the information before you proceed with the discussion.

Be specific in your discussions

Being precise when communicating can have many benefits, particularly in professional discussions and negotiations. Engaging listeners can be an excellent method for conveying your message and maintaining their attention. If you're not precise in your communication, discussions can become convoluted with unnecessary information, which often makes it challenging for listeners to maintain their attention. It's often beneficial to be brief but specific in your communication, providing listeners with the information they require and ensuring an engaging discussion.

Write notes

A tip for improving your listening skills and ability to absorb information may be to write notes during discussions. This can help you maintain the information discussed and can provide you with talking points later in the discussion. For example, if you're in a meeting for a new project, you might write details, such as budget constraints, expected risks and project deliverables. These notes may help you formulate helpful questions during the meeting and can ensure you understand the topics discussed.

Maintain a positive attitude

Maintaining positivity and a friendly demeanour when communicating can be an excellent method for fostering strong relationships with others. By maintaining positivity, you can foster a positive environment where everyone enjoys taking part in discussions. This can boost communication in the workplace, improve relationships with clients and business partners and foster a healthy environment.

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