On a basic level communication is just the exchange of information, however to be a truly effective communicator, you need to learn how to understand the emotion behind the information. Effective communication is something you can learn and, if you put the effort in now, it will benefit both your work and home relationships.
What is effective communication?
This isn’t just about hearing WHAT they’re saying, but also HOW they’re saying it and how they feel about it. This involves paying attention to tone and the actual words used – by all parties involved in the conversation. You can then match the tone and terminology used to further build a connection with the other person or family – and to show that you really are listening to what they say.
Improving on your listening skills will also enable you to create an environment where people feel safe expressing their thoughts and opinions, negative emotions and related stresses can be minimised and conflicts can be reduced.
Learn to enhance your connection with others by keeping your own body language open (including making eye contact and keeping your arms unfolded) but also learn to read the non-verbal communication from others too. Their eye contact, gestures, posture and facial expressions all will relay the emotions behind their communication.
When observing other people’s nonverbal communication skills, remember to take into account the differences that may arise due to their age, culture, gender and emotional state – as these can cause individual differences. It’s therefore important to take a group of nonverbal signals into account, rather than an individual one, when assessing other people.
You need to understand the emotions of both the communicator and the listener, as people are more motivated by their emotions than their thoughts. Ensure you understand your own emotions, prior to communicating with others, otherwise you will have a hard job relaying how and why you feel the way you do – and an even harder job trying to relay this to others.
Emotional awareness will enable you to fully understand the other person too – and to empathise and understand what is REALLY troubling them.
Learn these communication skills and you will be able to deepen your connection with others whilst improving on teamwork and decision-making within the workplace. By improving on your communication skills now, you’ll ensure a positive and open work environment… and an enhanced relationship between you and your team members.
How effectively do you communicate with others? What one step can you implement to improve on your communication skills? Why not create some accountability into that action step by sharing your intentions in the comments box below?
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