integrating nutrition, fitness, sprituality, conscious living, and a little sass
Regardless of what we each do on a daily basis, we are united in the fact that we have to utilize communication skills. Many of us can also agree that a consistent source of unhappiness and distress we experience each day comes from lack of communication, or an inability to communicate effectively. Well, HAVE NO FEAR…because you are not alone. Below, we have provided several ways to improve your communication skills, so that you are better able to express your needs and thoughts each day. We have also provided a quiz at the end, so that you can establish your style of communication and have a better understanding of how to best react to others, in different situations.
The biggest communication problem is we do not listen to understand. We listen to reply.
The root of the discomfort that we perceive when we are unable to communicate productively is often due to a feeling of disrespect, and a belief that our voice is not being heard, because it does not matter. As a result, we all need to make a conscious effort to give our full focus to those with whom we interact, and make an effort to reflect that we are truly listening and appreciating their thoughts. The best way to do this is to let the other party complete his/her sentence, acknowledge that you understand what (s)he has said by repeating some part of the statement, and then follow with a thought of your own that is related and that will promote further discussion.
Do not jump to conclusions about what the person with whom you are speaking meant by something he/she said, or assume that you know what (s)he is about to say. Not only do those reactions result in a one-sided conversation, led by you, but they also indicate that you are thinking about your response while the other party is still speaking. In order to effectively communicate, you should be taking in what he/she is saying, and then formulating a thought with which to follow-up. This will prevent a loss of voice for the other person, and will ensure that you do not seem disinterested or as though you are belittling his/her ideas. The best way to show people that you care about what they are saying, and that you put weight in their thoughts, is to provide them with enough time to think about what they want to say, so that it best reflects what they actually believe.
Be open minded to other people’s ideas and beliefs, so that you are able to be receptive to what they are expressing to you, and so that you are capable of having an intelligent and educated discussion. Being open minded does not mean that you have to sacrifice your own ideals or thoughts, but it does mean that you should not have a mindset that puts your views over others. Everyone is entitled to his or her opinions, and we all have the freedom to share these perspectives. What we must all remain aware of is the tone we use to relay these thoughts, our method of sharing, and to whom we are speaking. Always take the context of the situation into consideration, as well as the communication style of the other party. If two thought paths are rigid, and also on parallel planes or traveling in opposite directions, there is absolutely no opportunity for them to intersect. We have to be able to curve our thoughts some, and allow for fluidity of consciousness, in order to be able to effectively communicate and interact with others.
Here is a chart that depicts different communication styles well, and on somewhat of a spectrum. Assertive behavior can be equated to the “Dynamic Communicator”, as described in the quiz.
Review the chart and take this quiz to gauge what communication style best represents you. Also take note of the communication styles that others may portray, and take some time to think about how you can best react to these individuals, while in agreement or disagreement. Think of a variety of settings in which you may interact with these other communication types, and how you may amend you behavior and method of communication to best fit the context of each scenario.
What tips do you have for better communication? What examples do you have where you had to implement good communication skills to work with someone? Share with us 🙂
Thanks for reading, and we hope you all have a great week, filled with excellent communication!!!
Love and Light,