What Sort Of Communicator Are You? Top Communication Tips To Strengthen Your Skills
by Helene Malmsio
I'd have to say that being a "good communicator" is a core life skill that essential to your career success and your personal relationships. Most people struggle unless they are fortunate enough to have been born into a family of people who value and apply clear and supportive communication strategies.
To grow up in a family that uses their language to tell each other they are loved and supported, and given positive feedback is not what happens for most of us, so we need to go and learn how to do this just like we learned how to read and write.
Of all the skills you invest time and effort into, this is the most valuable for the returns you will get from putting all of yourself into this.
While it’s great to be an expert at math, science, or social studies, there’s another subject that will do more for your success in life, because those with great communication skills have an easier time in life!
Keep these techniques in mind when communicating with others:
1. Use the right amount of eye contact.
There’s a fine line between too much and too little eye contact. If you don’t have enough eye contact, people will either think you’re submissive or disinterested.
If you have too much eye contact, you’re viewed as aggressive. Finding the middle point allows you to be seen as likeable.
◦ A good general rule to follow is to maintain eye contact when either of you is speaking.
Break eye contact when there is silence. This simple rule will improve your eye contact immensely. Experiment and see for yourself.
◦ If maintaining eye contact is uncomfortable for you, study the other person’s eyes. What color are they? How big are their pupils?
Imagine you’re an artist and you have to draw the other person’s eyes. You’d look very closely.
Surprisingly, this can greatly reduce any anxiety you might be feeling.
2. Listen better.
If you want to be known as a great conversationalist, become a great listener.
There are so few people interested in truly listening to another person that you’ll really stand out! Eye contact is part of being a good listener.
◦ Wait until the other person is finished before speaking. Avoid interrupting anyone.
◦ Give your full attention. This is more than just maintaining eye contact. It’s possible to look someone in the eye and think about something else. Keep your attention on the other person.
3. Ask open-ended questions.
It’s hard to keep a conversation going if you ask questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.
Ask questions that require a more substantial answer. It’s also a good idea to avoid answering questions with a one-word answer. Explain yourself.
Communication skills aren’t covered as heavily as other subjects in school, and this is unfortunate.
It’s worth the time to enhance this important set of skills, even if you’re already a good communicator.
Once you begin to pay attention to how you communicate, you will become more sensitive to when you have mis-communicated your message, and maybe even hurt someone's feelings by being too blunt or thoughtless in how you worded what you said.
So, here are some useful Tips and Strategies to Avoid Misunderstandings
When ever you deal with others, and you are still practicing how you communicate, you’re bound sometimes to have misunderstandings.
Unfortunately, your relationships will be strained by any miscommunication and misunderstandings, so you need to be very proactive about sorting it out and soothing any hurt feelings.
Obviously, he best way to deal with misunderstandings is to avoid them in the first place! This is one challenge that’s easier to prevent than to solve.
I know that not all misunderstandings can be avoided, but you can greatly reduce their occurrence if you try these options to avoid the relationship issues that can be caused by misunderstandings:
1. Think before delivering your message.
Many misunderstandings could be avoided by taking a moment to really think about the situation.
What is going on? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the other person thinking and feeling? What is their perspective?
2. Writing can be better than speaking when it comes to details.
It’s easy for the details of a conversation to be forgotten. Write a note or send an email.
This is especially true at work. Leave a paper trail whenever possible.
3. Ask the other person to repeat back what you said.
Once you’ve come to an agreement, have the other person demonstrate that they have the same understanding you do.
Have a misunderstanding now when it can be rectified. It’s easier to smooth out any misunderstandings immediately than later.
Many misunderstandings are your own fault. One way to minimize your contribution to the problem is to put your listening ears on and concentrate on what’s being communicated to you.
Most people are very distracted. Work on your ability to focus on another person.
◦ This is a very valuable skill, and you can practice each day. Practice your listening skills during every conversation you have. After the conversation is complete, evaluate how you did.
5. Take a break when emotions are running high.
Misunderstandings are more likely to happen during times of heightened emotions. Take a break and have the conversation another time.
6. Be specific.
The devil is in the details. Vagueness leads to misunderstandings. Be specific when the details matter. Avoid forcing people to guess what you mean.
Just spell it out so anyone can understand what you’re saying. Being crystal clear is in everyone’s best interest.
7. Ask questions.
Think of anything you might have misunderstood and ask about it. Questions are a great way to ensure you’ve understood what was communicated to you.
You can also ask questions to verify you were understood.
◦ “Okay, so you need me to….?”
◦ “Just so we’re clear, it would help you if I….?”
◦ “So, you understand that I need you to pick up the kids at…?
Use questions to avoid miscommunication. Have a quick recap after an important conversation. And, practice your listening skills. They are invaluable in life.
Below are some of the self help books I've written that will help you develop these kinds of skills that you need in your personal development to become a well rounded and confident person in your personal life and in your career.
#Books #selfhelp #selfimprovement
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Cheers, Helene Malmsio
Related Reading: https://www.discoveryhub.net/self-development-plan-sample.html
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