Once upon a time, conversation was considered an art form.
You would think with the advance of the internet and the rise of social media;
this would still be the case.
Yet, social media has created a false bravado within many people
and instead of bringing us all closer together,
it has managed to drive a wedge between many of us.
We spend a lot of time with people,
but we still struggle to communicate with them in any meaningful way.
What about you?
Are you an effective communicator?
Or, do you feel that your skills leave a lot to be desired?
Unfortunately, it’s fairly common for us to overlook our inability to communicate.
We constantly run into misunderstandings and yet,
we fail to recognize our own role in them.
It could all be down to miscommunication. With that in mind,
let’s look at three effective communication strategies for everyday life.
First, let’s look at a number of examples and see whether you recognize yourself in any of them.
Someone has made you uncomfortable, in word or deed,
but you sidestep the problem and attempt to move on as though it never happened.
This pattern starts to repeat, someone makes you uncomfortable
and you brush it aside and move on.
Then, your partner does or says something that pushes you over the edge and you snap. Difficult truths that you left unsaid fomented anger
and resentment and spilled out onto the wrong person.
You think with your head, excluding all emotion.
Your communication method makes sense, but to others, it seems cold.
Others don’t understand your motivation because you don’t express it,
so you are seen as aggressive or rude.
You have noticed that people avoid you and it’s difficult for you to make your voice heard as a result.
Your issue lies with one person,
yet you choose to communicate the problem to someone else entirely.
The person you chose doesn’t have any authority
so while you may have gotten it off of your chest, the issue is unresolved.
You watch as the destructive communication skills of
your upbringing spill into every relationship in your life.
At no point did you ask yourself why you communicate
in the way that you do or whether it is effective or appropriate.
You don’t understand how to use positive language
or how your negative words impact others.
Does this describe you?
You’re in the right place if it does.
Effective Communication Strategies
1. Learn Communication Styles
It’s important to know your own communication style,
but it’s equally as important to learn the styles of others.
In order to communicate effectively,
you have to know how the other person likes to be communicated with.
When you know this, you can tailor the message to ensure they hear you.
This will also help you learn to change your own communication style,
depending on the audience. If you have difficulty determining someone’s style, simply ask them how they like to receive information.
2. Exercise Care & Precision
Don’t underestimate the value of exercising care when you communicate with others.
Think about this for a moment.
Your partner sends you a text message suggesting that you need to talk.
What is your immediate response?
Your palms grow sweaty, your heart is heavy,
and you start to panic.
We’ve all been there, on
the receiving end of those words.
It turns out to be something silly
but had your partner exercised a bit of care your anxiety could have been avoided.
Remember this is as you communicate with others,
think of how your words will be received.
3. Timing & Delivery
You need to read the room and know when your delivery is missing the mark.
You have to be able to adapt,
roll with the punches, and ensure the timing of your message is appropriate.
You should always have additional talking points prepared in your mind if you need to stop, drop,
and roll into a new topic of conversation.