Communication means exchange – a communion demands that we listen and speak skillfully, not just talk mindlessly. For any individual communication is a key aspect in business, workplace, or at the domestic front. It is an important and essential tool to maintain good interpersonal relationships. There are certain studies reveal that good communication skills have changed millions of lives.
Do you have it in you?
Let us first understand the purpose of communication. Communication is the process of conveying your message to an individual or a group. Sometimes, during the process of communication people might misinterpret the conveyed messages, leading to needless confusion and counter productivity. Thus, for any communication to be successful the listener has to understand the exact message that is conveyed. In a recent survey of recruiters from the organizations of more than 50,000 employees, communication skill plays a major role in deciding a manager of the company.
To effectively communicate, you must consider the following key things:
- The actual message
- The audience
- Perception of the message
There are certain barriers in communication that have a potential to create confusion as well as misunderstanding. Thus to communicate effectively, you need to minimize these barriers at each stage of the communication process. You need to be clear, concise, and accurate in your communication. Ensure that the message you want to convey is short, organized, and accurate. In addition, avoid using poor verbal and body language that might confuse the listener.
Here are 7 rules to communicate effectively and build healthy relationships:
You versus I messages
During the communication process, try to use the first person (I) as they avoid blaming or accusing the receiver of the messages. For instance, it’s always better when you say, “When you cannot mail it to the client, I will prefer to mail it myself” instead of saying “You should have to mailed to the client”.
Communicate the complete message
Any message consists of four key components: observations, thoughts, feelings, and needs. If any of these components is missing, your message is incomplete which again confuses the listener.
Avoid using your feelings
While communicating, do not reveal your feelings to the listener. This might form a negative impression in the minds of the listeners. Be specific about the message and keep your voice under control.
Be problem-focused rather than person-focused
While communicating, use appropriate words that focus on the action and not on the character or the personality of the listener. Avoid criticism as it tends to blame and attack the individual personally.
Use a proper body language
You might be clear in conveying your message, but if your body language is inappropriate the whole message could be misunderstood. Try to avoid the following gestures while communicating:
- Rolling your eyes
- Crossing your legs or arms
- Tapping your foot
- Gritting your teeth
Avoid using any mixed messages
While conveying a message try to stick to a particular subject and avoid mixing compliments and complaints.
Resolve grudges and misunderstanding
If you have certain negative feelings about your listener, resolve them rather than letting the grudge into contempt. If your verbal or nonverbal behavior such as obvious abuse, insults, name calling, and so on conveys a lack of respect, your relationship with the other person is in danger. Any relationship that is beleaguered by abusiveness and negativity will have a very difficult time surviving.
Do not indulge in stonewalling
Theorists call the behavior of shutting down as stonewalling, which means refusing to communicate or storming out of the room. Thus, communication is impossible when you are stonewalling, because you refuse to participate in the communication process. Sometimes, stonewalling may even damage a healthy relationship. For more information on stonewalling, read the famous book Why Marriages Succeed or Fail and How You Can Make Yours Last by John Gottman.
They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. – Carl W. Buechner
Thus, to be an effective communicator, you need to express your thoughts, ideas, and feelings to others but it is also essential to remember that you need do this very judiciously