An Effective communication is critical to any successful relationship. It is an important tool for better understanding between friends, neighbors, spouse, stakeholders and colleagues. It therefore important to remind ourselves about good communication practices, after all, words have at least two meanings: what you intend to say and what the listener thinks you mean.
Here are 10 essential of effective communication .
1. Listen carefully
Stephen R. Covey said “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
You have to listen and understand before you reply. Please wait for your turn to talk and do not interrupt. Do you observe that when parties do not listen to each other, someone will start shouting?
2. Show respect
Respect other feelings and views. The old adage says it well – give respect and take respect. Avoid negative statements and comments, they can hurt feelings and cause resentment. Please no name calling too.
Be gentle and avoid non aggressive body language. Communication involves more than just words, your facial expression and gestures matters; actions speak louder than words.
4. Stay on the topic
This is important if the outside topic will open an old wound. Let focus on the issue we are discussing and don’t remind me of stories that will hurt me.
5.Be willing to compromise
Sometimes it can be more effective if both of you are willing to bend a little.
6. Be aware of social differences
We are from different countries and cultures are not the same. It is important you take note of age, culture and religious differences when communicating. For example in most part of Africa, it is not respectful to call an elderly person’s first and last name when communicating with them.
7. Avoid seeming judgmental
Don’t blame or judge others. Belittling leads to hurt feelings which will not produce an effective communication.
8. Show your interest in what’s being said
Nod occasionally, sometimes smile at the person, and make sure your posture is open and inviting. Ignoring someone shows that you do not care about the topic.
9. Use the 48 Hour Rule
If someone make you very angry, you don’t have to tell them right away. If you’re still hurt 48 hours later, say something. If not, consider forgetting about it. This is more important in a family partnership.
10. Calm Down
Victor William Harris of University of Florida explained that if your heart is beating very fast, it becomes more difficult to access the “logical” part of your brain. It is better to disengage from such interaction before something hurtful is said. Otherwise, it is easy to slip into an emotionally charged conversation and to say things that are hurtful and damaging. Please don’t get angry.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
Remember in communicating you are actually expressing your feeling.
Add your own communication tips in the comment box below