You know how to communicate; you do it all the time. You know how to get what you want by asking, showing others you are happy by smiling, nodding when you are listening and reading non-verbal cues. Being attuned to body language is learned while we are infants. We express gratitude and sorrow with our whole body.
How to communicate? So why do we get frustrated at work, with our children, with colleagues, with our significant partners, in front of a group giving presentations or with your boss?
Communication is done primarily with language, it’s one of the first things we learn, even before walking.
We learn our mother tongue, we learn to read body language and we learn early on how important it is to express ourselves in order to meet our basic needs and express how the world impacts us: love, food, comfort, friendship, sadness.
But all too often, this part of our lives is not always easy and as adults this can have a pretty big impact on our personal and professional lives.
We all know that the better we communicate or express our needs and ideas the better chance we have of getting those needs met and our ideas listened to. I can coach you in this regard.
There are basic tips on how to communicate so that your listener will actually really hear what you have to say. After all, who doesn't want the opportunity to be really heard.
Good verbal and non-verbal communication requires know-how.
Here are a few easy steps to follow and practice:
- Talk Talk Talk. Express your self!
- Speak in your name, not on behalf of another by using the ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘My’ and ‘Mine’.
- When you own what you say, its impact is more powerful
- Describe your thoughts, your feelings, and needs.
- People are not mind-readers, so let them know, honesty is always appreciated
- Describe the behavior of others without making judgments by stating the facts.
- Let other’s come to their own conclusions, speaking ill of others can look like gossip
- Formulate your responses by taking into account the perspective of the listener.
- Everyone likes to be acknowledged so show others you understand and care
- Ask your listener to repeat what he/she has understood.
- I do this with my daughter so that I know she has heard what I said, this really works for effective communication, misunderstandings can be drastically reduced by clarifying your point
- If necessary, repeat several times your message in many ways.
- They didn’t hear or get you the first time, try again and don’t give up
- Look into the eyes of the person in whom you are in conversation while talking.
- This shows you are serious, you are sincere and most of all you have courage and conviction
- Make sure your nonverbal cues corresponds to your message.
- This very important, nervous laughter, sad eyes while smiling, pay attention to your body
- Be as clear and precise as you can when you articulate your ideas.
- Simplify, write things down in note form if you have the chance, be logical, take a deep breath to gather your thoughts, count to ten when needed