Communication Skills Improvement
Being able to interact effectively with others is vital. Effective communication allows us to convey our feelings and needs as well as respecting those of others. Furthermore, it helps us to develop significant relationships with our colleagues, family and even in our romantic relationships.
This skill can also be vital when you are in need of social support from others. Being able to express our sentiments and feelings will protect us from various unpleasant conditions such as anxiety and depression.Imagine for a moment not being in a position to ask for help from your significant other?
Or not being able to say ‘no’ And going on to do what others want you to do? What about people misunderstanding you and not being able to connect with them? If you are facing these difficulties, chances are you need to develop your communication skills towards enhancing personal achievement. To be a good communicator, you need to develop these three distinct and yet related skills.
Listening is a very important factor in almost every effective communication without which it may lead to misunderstanding. It is important to note that listening is not the same as hearing. When you listen, you fully engage yourself in the communication process by being attentive, paying attention to how the story is being told and use of language and tone.
Hearing on the other hand just refers to the sounds that you hear. In order to become an engaged listener, here are some tips that can enhance your personal achievement.
1) Be attentive – listening attentively to what your partner is saying without interrupting is very important. When they are finished you may need to clarify to ensure that you have perfectly understood their message. Put away any destructive thoughts that may hinder your listening as these may irritate your speaker and make them feel you are disinterested with them.
2) Show approval – this will put the speaker at ease and make them feel free to speak. You may show your approval through nodding or other gestures or words that encourage them to continue talking. Ensure you maintain eye contact but not in a manner to indicate you are staring. These shows you are following the conversation and you do understand.
3) Defer judgment – always wait until the speaker is done speaking for you to ask questions. It is not polite to interrupt with counter arguments rather defer it so that it doesn’t sound you are talking about them.
4) Respond appropriately – be very candid and honest in the way you respond to your partner. If the speaker says something you oppose with, wait and construct an argument and assert your opinions respectfully
Communication is not only about listening with our ears but also using our eyes to read other people’s body language. Wait and watch for nonverbal communication conveyed through the body and this may involve where we look, body posture and tone of voice. Our nonverbal behavior can convey a lot of information to the other person. The following are ways you can improve your nonverbal communication.
1) Body movement – your body movements such as facial expressions and gestures expresses your emotions. While talking to someone, offer them a smile. This will show that you are comfortable and in a good mood. It will also create a warm and friendly atmosphere.
2) Tones and sounds – the tone of voice and sounds that you make can clearly communicate your thoughts to others. These can inform others whether you are frustrated, angry or sarcastic. Always speak softly and calmly while avoiding repetitive signing or using high pitched sounds.
3) Space – always pay attention to how close you are when talking to people. Different cultures view close proximities differently, therefore, maintain a distance that’s just close enough for a comfortable conversation.
Assertiveness involves expressing your sincere thoughts, feelings, and needs in an open manner and without disrespecting others. Many people fear to be assertive because of the many myths that they hold concerning it. The assertion should not be taken to mean you are aggressive, selfish, getting your way or demanding. The following are ways to improve this trait and work towards the personal achievement.
1) Self-expression – express your wants, opinions or needs concisely without forcing others to agree with you. Also, accommodate their views and respect how they express themselves too.
2) Learn to say “no” – When you don’t agree with the opinion of others, don’t just follow what they say and do. Instead, state your opinion and what you want.
3) Appreciate others – regular express gratitude and be grateful to others for what they have done or are doing.
4) Receive feedback passively – Be able to admit a mistake and apologize when necessary.