- Mina Nguyen
5 Ways To Build Effective Communication Skills!
Communication is the process of exchanging thoughts, ideas and opinions. Communication happens in several forms including verbally through words, nonverbally through expressions, written on paper, visual with imagery and listening with sound.
Completing the process in an effective way results in a manner where the sender is heard, the receiver understands, and both are satisfied. When done effectively, communication helps maintain transparency, improves your emotional and mental health, strengthens your connections and relationships, and leads to better problem-solving skills.
Here are some things to consider when practicing effective communication:
Consider Your Audience: The way you send messages likely differs from the way others receive messages. Being aware of who you’re speaking to and adjusting your style to match that relationship and person, will be beneficial. For example, the way that you speak to your family will likely differ from the way that you speak to your friends.
Consider Your Medium: With the rise of technology and the increased pace of day-to-day living in North America, it is easy to focus on convenience rather than content. Sending messages via text can be misconstrued with negative tones, compared to speaking over the phone or in person. If it is an important conversation, save it for a live interaction that allows for better expression.
Practice Active Listening: Rather than simply receiving the incoming message, engage in a more proactive role. Examples include providing encouraging cues (e.g. nodding your head) and avoiding interrupting. This will showcase that you are understanding and invested in what is being said.
Practice Active Speaking: Show your understanding further by engaging in the conversation. Repeat what they are saying to highlight your takeaways, ask questions to gain clarity, and provide your feedback where appropriate.
Consider Your Emotions: Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. Putting yourself in their shoes and reacting in a way that you would like, is often appreciated. Maintaining self-awareness of your thoughts and emotions as they arise and expressing them in an appropriate context is also helpful. For example, allowing strong emotions like anger in a professional setting may be detrimental. However, expressing that shared feeling with a friend about an upsetting story may be validating.
Developing more effective communication skills will improve your sense of self-expression, and in the long term, your relationships. These techniques will help you improve your methods of interaction. If you are having trouble, we are here to help.
Contact www.georgetowncouplestherapy.com to learn how to improve your own communication skills.