If everyone was able to understand exactly what you were trying to say each and every time you were communicating, you would certainly encounter less friction in your interactions. Unfortunately, clear, effective communication isn’t always as simple as we take it to be.
The good news though, is that, like anything else, communication can be improved to help strengthen your relationships and your social interactions.
Effective communication is one of the cornerstones of a lasting relationship. Without it, you will inevitably find your relationship on troubled waters.
In order to improve the communication that takes place in any relationship, try these following things.
1. Talk Face to Face
Texts, phone calls, and emails are great for convenience and staying in touch when you’re apart, but for serious, useful communication you are going to want to be face-to-face with your partner. Take time to talk with them in-person, and avoid becoming too reliant on technology as a means of communicating.
2. Say “We”
You and your partner are a team, and your word choice needs to convey that. Saying “we” instead of “you” or “I” can also help keep what you say from coming across as critical or aggressive since you are directing it at both of you.
3. Be Honest
A relationship is not the place for purposefully confusing your partner or playing mind games with them. When the goal is to communicate as clearly as possible, you need to be as upfront and honest as possible at all times – even when it is difficult.
Whether you are communicating with your boss, your friends, or your parents, good communication is essential.
4. Read Over Your Messages Before You Send Them
Far too often people get in too big of a hurry to send messages. They will quickly type out and hit send on a message before they have taken the time to read over it carefully. A simple reading, though, might have shown them errors that could cause the message to be misconstrued. Before you hit send, take the time to analyze it and make sure it is clearly communicating your intended message.
5. Follow Up
Sometimes you are going to have to follow up with people in order to get your message across.
People are busy, and they may not take your message as seriously as they should unless you mention it to them again. If possible, follow up communications should always take place in-person.
Finally, social interactions are often the situations where communications get misunderstood the most. Perhaps it’s the lighthearted nature of these situations where no one is really giving their full focus to the speaker, or perhaps it’s the fact that social interactions often have so many speakers at one time.
Here are a few ways you can communicate more clearly in social interactions.
6. Be a Good Listener
One common problem with the communication that takes place in social interactions is that everyone present wants to be the speaker and no one really wants to be the listener. By carefully listening to what others are saying, though, you can ensure that your input is more relevant to the conversation at hand and thus more likely to be well-received.
7. Let it Pass
Have you ever been in a social interaction where you think of something really clever or important to say, but once you actually get the chance to speak the conversation has shifted? It may be tempting to interject your comment anyway in instances such as this, and many people often do.
However, the comment will rarely ever carry the same weight after the conversation has shifted to something else, and it is likely to be misunderstood. It is better to let it pass and keep up with the flow of conversation.
8. Practice Body Language
Body language is important in all communication scenarios, but especially in social interactions. Keep your eyes on the person who is speaking, nod and smile appropriately, and show them that you are engaged lest they get the impression that you aren’t interested in what they have to say.
When it is your turn to speak, don’t be afraid to use body language such as eye contact and gestures to command the attention of your audience. The closer they pay attention to what you say the more likely they are to understand what it is you are trying to get across.
In almost every aspect of life, communicating effectively and clearly is vitally important. Some people are natural communicators, while others struggle to translate their thoughts in a way that those listening will understand.
Most all of us, though, have room for improvement. By putting a little effort into your communication skills, you can improve the quality of all your relationships.
About the Author: Jack CANFIELD, Monthly Mentor, is America’s #1 Success Coach and founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® as well as a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at FreeSuccessStrategies.com. Jack holds the Guinness World Record for having seven books on the New York Times Bestseller list on the same day. He also holds the Guinness World Record for the largest book signing ever for Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul. Read More…