Good communication is essential to strong relationships.
Communication is the glue that holds together relationships, families, and friendships. Also at work, communication is one of the most important skills. It’s often the difference between a project succeeding or failing – or even a business floundering or thriving.
Yet most of us are poor communicators and we don’t even realize it. We’re either too afraid to speak our minds or say things callously under the guise of good intention. We’ve been taught to think that as long as you mean well, that’s all that matters. When you think this way, you’re no longer communicating.
I’ve learned the hard way that when the stakes are high, the consequences of poor communication can be devastating and by the time you realize it, it can be too late.
So how do you do communication damage control before problems reach the crisis stage? Better yet how can you thrive personally and professionally by building the relationships you want?
First, create an environment that puts you in your best mental state and find ways to do what fulfills you. When you are feeling excited and alive, we’re able to respond more effectively to whatever comes our way… and that includes stressful communication situations in both our work and personal lives.
Second, change your mind… or consider the possibility that there is another perspective that you just don’t understand yet. Be flexible, listen with an open mind, and seek to understand. Of course, that’s easier said and done when the person you are communicating with has your blood boiling, but try to focus on the issue, not the person. Avoid getting distracted by emotional noise. We often react emotionally to certain words or ideas due to our past experiences. Sometimes we get distracted by our bias about the speaker’s appearance, gestures, etc. Make a conscious effort to quiet your emotional reactions so that you can truly listen.
Third, value yourself and your own experiences, even as you recognize they could be barriers to accurate perception. This requires a two-prong approach – You need to be firm about your own rights and needs, even as you work on analyzing and expanding your awareness. Never undervalue yourself. Offer your ideas and expect to be treated well.
You can be successful through how you communicate every day.
The opposite is also true. What you say or don’t say matters.
What DOESN’T work
- Being in a state of anger and stress
- Too much thinking
- Happy, relaxed, open, calm, and expansive
- Being fully present, aware, and in your 5 senses
- Approval to yourself and the person you are communicating with
- Acting with intention
Here’s one more bonus tip.
If you want to be an effective communicator, active listening is just as important as being able to get your point across. Watch the behavior of the person you are speaking to.
Are they frequently interrupting, repeating points, or zoning out during conversations? You’ve likely got poor listening skills. 😅 Here are 5 key active listening tips that will change your relationships and transform your life.
What are your tips for better communication?