5 Tips for Great Communication

Communication.

It is an essential key to every type of relationship that we can have, whether it be personal or professional. Communication can either make or break any of these types of relationships, so it is important to be able to communicate in a healthy, positive fashion. Below are five tips to help one sharpen their own communication skills:

1.    Be Clear and Specific – When trying to communicate a message to another person, make sure that you know exactly what it is that you want to share. If you don’t know exactly what point you are trying to get across, then the other person surely won’t either. Be direct and very clear and make it a point to be as specific as possible to avoid any confusion.

2.    Actively Listen– One very common issue that arises when communication is poor is that one or both parties are just not really listening to what the other person is saying. Think back to a time when you were having a discussion with somebody and they truly had no idea what you had just said. It is very frustrating, right? That is why it is so very important to actively listen to what the other person is trying to tell you. By doing this, you are showing the other person that you respect and value their opinion and can now use this information to hopefully come to an agreement about whatever topic may be at hand.

3.    Use Non-Verbal Cues to Show that You Are Paying Attention – Non-verbal cues go hand in hand with listening to the other person. If you are staring at the wall or out the window the entire time someone is speaking with you, it can be rather disheartening. Maintaining eye contact shows the other person that you respect them and that you are truly engaged in the conversation. Some other positive non-verbal cues include facing the person, paying attention to your own facial expressions (we often times make faces subconsciously), and giving the person your full attention (i.e. not playing on your phone or computer during a conversation). By providing positive non-verbal cues, you are showing the other person that you do respect them and that you are fully focused on the conversation and what they have to say.

4.    Ask Questions – If you aren’t quite sure exactly what the point is that the other person is trying to get across, don’t be afraid to ask them further questions about it. This shows that you are truly interested in what they have to say, and that you want to understand things from their perspective. Another good habit to pick up is to repeat the person’s statement back to them. This ensure that you do understand what they are trying to tell you. If it appears that you didn’t quite receive the message the way the sender intended, then they can further explain to clear up any misunderstandings.

5.    Be Positive! – I personally feel that this is one of the most important aspects of effective communication. Negative communication, regardless of the message, isn’t effective because the negativity often gets in the way. Sometimes, this can prevent the message from being received properly, or at all. The tone of one’s voice can have a profound effect on trying to have a productive conversation with someone. How well do you actively listen to the message that someone who is yelling at you is trying to send? Probably not too well. Belittling others and calling them names as well as sarcasm in a negative connotation can also halt any productivity in a conversation with someone.

Communication is a big part of our everyday lives, and it is so important to make our experiences positive. Not only does it make your day go smoother, but it will make the other person’s as well. No one likes to fight or argue, especially over silly misunderstandings that might have been avoided by following some effective communication methods. If you take nothing else away from this article today, please just remember to be nice and respectful to one another. Kindness goes a LONG way.