7 signs you’ve got better communication skills than the average person

Reflecting on my somewhat unconventional career through finance, education, entrepreneurship, and writing, I’ve realized something: almost all successful people I have known, no matter what the industry, were exceptional communicators.

Communication skills are pretty much the backbone of everything we do in life. They’re the secret weapon behind successful relationships, killer presentations, and smooth negotiations.

And let’s be frank; many of us like to think we’re pretty decent at communicating, but are you really?

Today, you find out. We get into seven signs that you’ve got better communication skills than the average person.

Let’s dive in.

1) You listen to understand, not to respond

“Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey, author (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, & more)

Let’s kick things off with one of the most underrated aspects of communication – listening. Now, you might be thinking, “Listening? That’s easy; I do it all the time.”

But are you really listening or just waiting for your turn to speak? Be honest.

If you’re someone who genuinely listens to understand rather than to reply, it’s a surefire sign that your communication skills are above average.

Effective communication isn’t just about getting your point across. It’s about understanding the other person’s perspective, showing empathy, and cultivating a genuine two-way conversation.

2) You know how to use body language and tone effectively

If you are a regular reader here at Ideapod, you will know that we talk about body language all the time. It’s for good reason.

As noted by Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, “Even the most seemingly insignificant bodily gestures can provide key signals of your emotions.” The way we move, our facial expressions, our gestures, our tone of voice – they all communicate a message.

Think about any great speech. It’s as much about the speaker’s body language and tone as what they actually say. They have mastered the art of using these to complement their words, making their conversations and speeches more captivating and persuasive.

You get the idea. If you’re aware of this and use it to enhance your communication, then you’re definitely not an average communicator.

3) You’re empathetic

This one is nothing short of a superpower when it comes to communication.

When you’re empathetic, you’re more likely to respond in a way that shows understanding and compassion rather than dismissing or invalidating the other person’s feelings.

It really can’t be stressed how important this is. As the folks at Help Guide put it, it “helps you see things from another person’s perspective, sympathize with their emotions, and build stronger relationships.”

The World Economic Forum also ranked “Empathy and active listening” as the most important skill when working with others in their Future of Jobs Report 2023.

Speaking of active listening…

4) You are an active listener

So, let’s say you’re having a conversation about a recent challenge you faced at work.

As you share your story, the person you’re speaking to nods attentively, interjects with thoughtful questions and paraphrases parts of your experience to ensure they’ve understood correctly. They don’t interrupt, nor do they shift the conversation to their own experiences prematurely.

Instead, they remain focused on your narrative, demonstrating their engagement through their posture and eye contact. Feels good, right? You feel understood, valued, and listened to. This is the power of active listening.

This kind of attentive engagement not only deepens relationships but also promotes a richer understanding between communicators, creating a foundation for trust and mutual respect.

5) You respond instead of reacting

Good communicator helping team 7 signs you've got better communication skills than the average person

I’ve told this story before, but it’s worth repeating. When I was in my early twenties, I worked in finance.  In a meeting, a colleague of mine was criticized and reacted impulsively, allowing his emotions to control his actions. He played the blame game before cursing out the people in the room. It ultimately cost him his job.

The point?

Good communicators don’t allow emotions to control their reactions. Instead, they respond.

Responding involves pausing, processing the situation, and choosing a course of action that aligns with your best self rather than being driven by immediate emotions.

As put by  Stoic Philosopher and former Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, we “shouldn’t give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don’t care at all.

This doesn’t mean suppressing your feelings. It means acknowledging your emotions and deciding how you want to express them.

This allows you to handle disappointments rationally and respond to changes constructively rather than being swept away by an initial surge of feelings.

Sound like you?

If so, you are probably a much more considered communicator than most.

6) You tailor your message to your audience

Picture this: you’re explaining the intricacies of blockchain technology to a five-year-old. You wouldn’t start off with complex jargon like ‘decentralized digital ledger’ or ‘cryptographic principles’, would you?

Of course not. You’d tailor your explanation to match their understanding, probably using a story or analogy.

This doesn’t just apply when talking to kids. Whether you’re speaking with a colleague, presenting to a group of investors, or having a heart-to-heart with your partner, the ability to adapt your message to suit your audience is a clear sign of superior communication skills.

7) You practice consistency in your communication

Last but not least, consistency is key to effective communication.

This means not only being reliable in how often you communicate but also in the tone, style, and quality of your interactions. Consistent communicators establish a recognizable pattern of interaction that others can depend on, which builds trust and credibility.

Whether it’s maintaining regular updates in a project management scenario or keeping in touch with distant family members, consistency ensures that others know what to expect from you. It eliminates confusion and reduces uncertainty in relationships and professional environments.

The bottom line

That just about wraps it up for me today.

If you resonate with these seven signs, you’re definitely better at the art of communication than most. Kudos to you!

If not, well, keep in mind these are skills that can be developed. And there’s no time like the present to start fostering them in your own life.

As always, I hope you found some value in this post.

Until next time.

Picture of Mal James

Mal James

Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business. As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys. In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

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