Communication is all around us. Whether we are actively engaged in conversation, listening intently for a newborn’s cry, or rolling our eyes in exasperation, messages are being sent, received, and processed every moment. While communication is somewhat instinctive, effective communication is a learned skill.
Mastering the skills of communication may improve relationship at home and work, aid in decision-making and streamline problem solving. Additionally, strong communication is beneficial when difficult or potentially controversial messages are necessary. There are many strategies for sharpening your communication skills. Consider these principles to help guide your speaking skills.
- Be assertive – Being assertive eliminates bullying and may even decrease stress. A clear response allows you to say “no” when needed and avoid too many commitments.
- Focus on facts – Begin your conversation by describing what you see or hear in a situation. Be specific and avoid exaggerations and generalizations because smooth talking will not replace general knowledge.
- Avoid trigger words – There are certain words it is helpful to avoid. For example, it is much easier to exaggerate when emotional, so eliminating “always” and “never” will help to decrease the emotion behind those statements.
- Stay present – When you are participating in a conversation, be aware of your distractions and watch your body language. If you are constantly checking your phone or watch, you are no longer communicating your attention.
There are many benefits to improving your communication skills. Being able to clearly articulate thoughts, feelings, and needs demonstrates a level of self-worth. You also might notice a genuine enjoyment for your job or other roles in life with improved communication skills. Improving and fine-tuning effective communication skills can be hard work, but the results are worth the effort.