Have you ever wondered if others really understand the thoughts and ideas you are trying to communicate to them? Do you see that you leave meetings, phone calls and conversations feeling that you have been completely misunderstood? The steps in this article will help you assess and improve your communication skills.
Step 1. Listen to the responses that your listeners give you
If the audience (and be it one person or several) tells you that they do not understand what you are saying, listen to it. Listeners lose much of what is said when the speaker refuses to stop to clarify a point. Stop and clarify what you say, even if it means that it will take you longer to express your idea.
Step 2. Don't take yourself or your ideas too seriously
If the feeling of misunderstanding defines your interaction with others, it is not a communication problem. It is probably an emotional and psychological problem.
Step 3. Make sure you don't compare acceptance with understanding
Humans understand quite a bit, but they don't necessarily agree with what they see and hear. Communication is about the expression of ideas and thoughts, not about gaining acceptance and consensus with every statement said.
Step 4. Be clear and concise
When you communicate with others, a million thoughts go through your mind, but it is best to limit your expression of thoughts to one or two related things at a time. Attempts to clear your mind by talking to someone (unless you warn them first) is likely to lead to confused communication. If your audience shows signs of confusion, frustration, or inattention, you may be straying and need to stop to speak and gather your thoughts before moving on. Remember that the more content you put into a communication session, the fewer people will remember it without their own initiative.
Step 5. Speak clearly
If your words are confusing, you have grammar mistakes, and you speak too loud or too low, your communication will be negatively affected. Talk to a tape recorder and listen to yourself speak to find the tone and volume necessary for others to hear you easily, and fine-tune your cadence and enunciation of words. There are many educational websites that provide help with grammar and phonetics. Take a few minutes a day to improve your skills.
Step 6. Stay calm
The more agitated you speak or write, the more difficult it will be for you to communicate your thoughts clearly. If your voice rises and trembles, your listener will be distracted from what was said and retain very little. If you feel anxious when you speak, stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and let it out completely. Please try again later. Without a doubt, your listener has been in your shoes and will be patient until you are ready to continue talking.
Step 7. Respect the point of view of others
If you want to be a good communicator, you must learn to accept the points of view of others. People are not mentally weak, morally bankrupt, or inherently evil simply because they don't agree with ideas you strongly believe in. If you end discussions with others by saying "Well, you must be stupid" or "You're just scared," you have succumbed to the temptation to upset others rather than keep a good point of view and allow disagreement. To communicate more effectively, try to play devil's advocate with yourself on most of your strong and philosophical beliefs. Lie down to see the point of view set.
Step 8. Ask your co-workers and friends if they see you as an effective communicator; better yet, ask your boss
Those people you talk to often can better tell you how well you relate to others, including people you don't care about as much. Ask them if you normally annoy others. Ask them if you often try to convince them to agree with you. Ask them if they think you communicate honestly. Finally, ask them if they consider you trustworthy or if you should change your personality.
- You can communicate imprecisely, but effectively. Make sure you have a good understanding of the points before sharing them with others.
- Dishonest communication (lying) has great consequences that cannot be anticipated or denied. Therefore, even if you think you know how to lie well, communicate with others honestly.