Sometimes silence is a much underrated quality but, everything has its time and place. Good communication is essential for dealing with others.
These are some tips for better communication.
Tips for Speech / Conversation.
Avoid unnecessary words.
We peppar our speech with unnecessary words. “you know some people say….” I mean…” Sometimes less is more, these extra words can also sound condescending. Speak plainly.
There is nothing more frustrating than a conversation which is half heard. Always try to speak clearly. If someone asks you to repeat yourself once, make a special effort, because often people will not ask more than once out of a sense of embarrassment.
Be wary of speaking harshly.
If you are really disappointed with someone, you can express your disappointment / frustration without anger / bitterness. The other person will be much more receptive to your message delivered with sweetness – – or at least the absence of anger and disgust. Sometimes it is more beneficial to take the compassionate approach rather than the justice approach. People may deserve a harsh lesson, but, would it actually help?
Avoiding unnecessary communication.
It is good to communicate well, but, you can have too much of a good thing. Don’t bombard friends with unnecessary text messages. Be confident in your friendship rather than looking for constant reassurance.
Method of Communication
In a digital age, we tend to gravitate towards the most convenient communication. But, the most convenient communication can be the least personal and least effective. An electronic message has much greater scope for misinterpretation and misunderstanding than speaking to someone in person. The next time you say something satirical / sarcastic to a friend try imagine sending that message in an email. You can guarantee without the benefit of facial expression / human contact the message would be misinterpreted.
There are many times when we want to say something, but, put it off because of – nervousness, a desire to avoid difficult situations, or a feeling of guilt for having to tell someone off. But, putting off communication often just makes it worse. What tends to happen is that when we put off speaking to someone our mind just magnifies the problems, turning a small issue into a big problem. Our mind speculates on many adverse reactions which are false. If we find ourself in this situation, the best thing is to speak sooner rather than later.
Suggestions for Difficult Communication
- Let go of negative expectations – they will probably be wrong anyway.
- Just speak with kind intentions. If you have the other persons best wishes at heart, then whatever you have to say will be easier to say. Also, if you have good will towards the other person, then you can easily let go of all guilt that may be blocking you from speaking to that person.
- Remember the positive things that will occur from bringing up difficult situations. The other person may appreciate your intervention at some time – even if not now.
- Let go of a feeling of pride. Don’t feel the conversation is about having to defend yourself, prove yourself and put the other person down. This kind of attitude is guaranteed to create an awkward situation. Be self-giving and give no importance to silly human pride.
It’s not what you Say, but how you Say it.
Suppose you have to tell someone they have been doing something wrong. There are two approaches. The first is to exaggerate the extent of their mistake and try to make them feel guilty for doing such a silly thing. The other approach is to start off by saying it is the kind of mistake you could have made yourself. Even if you say a white lie and say you once did the same thing, who will be hurt?
If you think about both approaches, you will know exactly how you would want to be treated should someone tell about your misdemeanours.
Give the person your undivided attention.
It may seem obvious, but, often when we are speaking we are subconsciously thinking of something else. I have even skyped someone and during the conversation I heard them typing away in the background. If you are going to speak to someone give that person your wholehearted attention.