*contributed collaborative post
Communication is key to many good things in life, whether you are thinking about your career or your interpersonal relationships outside of work. If you find that you routinely fail to communicate clearly, there might be many things going on underneath the surface, causing that unfortunate awkwardness to occur.
Whatever it is, there are always things you can do to ensure that you communicate better in work and life, and by focusing on some of the more powerful of these you can hope to really turn things around swiftly. In this article, we are going to look at some of the things you can do to make sure that you communicate more effectively and with greater passion, no matter who you are speaking to or what form the communication might take. The kinds of changes this can bring about are fantastic, so it is absolutely worth your while.
First up, you need to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to develop in yourself a decent amount of confidence. If you don’t have much confidence, you will only find that you are going to struggle to get your point across, and no matter what kind of techniques you might be aware of, you won’t be able to effectively make your point in the right way. But developing a genuine internal confidence is not the kind of thing that comes easily, and it certainly takes time for most people to do. For one thing, it is not something that can be faked – in fact, fake confidence comes off badly and might even lead to worse communication, rather than better. So what can you do to make sure that you are genuinely developing your confidence within yourself?
Most of all, it’s about getting to a place within yourself where you are genuinely happy to be you. That might be the work of a lifetime, but it is work which is important to do, and which you will find is likely to really make a huge difference to how you feel overall. As long as you can feel good about yourself, you will be much more confident, and that will inevitably come out in your communication, whatever form that might take and whoever you might be speaking with. Develop your own confidence, and the rest will surely follow.
Focus On Honesty
Arguably the most important part of all communication is honesty, and as long as you are focused on being as honest as you possibly can be, you should find that you are much more likely to communicate well. A lot of people have trouble with being truly honest all the time, and often that can be because they are worried about upsetting or offending the other person. However, the irony is that once you are more honest in your communication, you actually awaken the relationship to a much more enlightened place, and ultimately you make everyone happier in the long run.
If you struggle with being honest, just try to make a point of it little by little, and be more and more honest as time goes on. You should find you can make it a normal part of how you communicate before long, and you will certainly enjoy the benefits of that once you have got there.
Use Visual Aids
They say that over 98% of communication is non-verbal, and by this of course we mean that it is largely body language and other types of communication. You can actually use this to your advantage if you are hoping to be a more effective communicator, and it is something which you will want to try and do as soon as possible in order to practice it a little too.
One of the basic ways that you can approach this is by using visual aids when you are communicating. Now, the nature of these will vary depending on the form of communication you are using. If you are using text on a machine, you are likely to use an emoji shortcut on Mac or something similar to get certain feelings across. But in person, it will be more a case of using your body language as a kind of visual aid; hand movements or eye contact, smiles and nods – and that is something which, once you have tapped into it, can be enormously powerful.
These kinds of aids can really be effective in rounding out what you are saying verbally. However, as powerful as they can be, you should be careful not to overuse them, as that is unlikely to result in much more effective communication. Instead, it might even have the opposite effect, and you might find that it is much better keeping it a little less overt. Get the balance right, however, and your communication will be much more effective indeed.
Discuss, Don’t Lecture
Good communication is two-way, and you should aim to encourage this two-way nature of communication if you hope to be a more effective communicator. As long as you are merely talking at people or lecturing them, you will find that you are not anywhere near as likely to communicate effectively, whereas if you allow the space for them to come in and discuss with you equally and on the same footing, you will have a much more effective and vibrant kind of communication indeed. This focus on discussing rather than lecturing is likely to really make an enormous difference in both your personal and professional lives.
Make It Personal
The more that you know the person you are speaking to, the more effective communication becomes almost automatically. You need to make sure, therefore, that you are getting to know the person you speak with, so that you know that the communication is going to be as effective as possible. In quick circumstances, this can be as simple as asking them a few questions about themselves first, so that you know who you are really speaking to. A simple conversaation starter like “have you travelled far today?” can open up lines of chat and lead on to a comfortable environment.
However you do it, it’s something that you should absolutely think about if you hope to have a better way of communicating with people.