Improving Your Skills
It sounds so simple: say what you mean. But so often, what we try to communicate gets lost in translation despite our great intentions. We say one thing, the other person hears something else, and misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts results.
Good enough, you can learn how to communicate more clearly and effectively. Whether you’re trying to improve communication with your spouse, children, boss, or co-workers, you can improve the communication skills that enable you to effectively connect with others, build trust and respect, integrity and feel heard and not misconstrued.
- Is communication just exchange of information?
To improve communication :
- Become an engaged listener
People often focus on what they should say, but effective communication is less about talking and more about listening. Listening well means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding the emotions the speaker is trying to communicate.
There’s a big difference between engaged listening and simply hearing. When you really listen—when you’re engaged with what’s being said—you’ll hear the subtle intonations in someone’s voice that tell you how that person is feeling and the emotions they’re trying to communicate. When you’re an engaged listener, not only will you better understand the other person, you’ll also make that person feel heard and understood, which can help build a stronger, deeper connection between you.
By communicating in this way, you’ll also experience a process that lowers stress and supports physical and emotional well-being. If the person you’re talking to is calm, for example, listening in an engaged way will help to calm you, too. Similarly, if the person is agitated, you can help calm them by listening in an attentive way and making the person feel understood.
If your goal is to fully understand and connect with the other person, listening in an engaged way will often come naturally. If it doesn’t, try the following tips. The more you practice them, the more satisfying and rewarding your interactions with others will become.
Focus fully on the speaker,