There are many reasons why we need to improve our communications skills, but the most significant one is to be heard and understood. Everyone needs to be able to speak their mind and have people listen, but if they can’t get their point across, they’re just wasting their energy.
Communication is also key to accomplishing your life goals, whatever the particular type of goal. This is why we decided to bring this article to you. Here are some highly effective tips on how to improve the way you communicate with anyone.
As simple as this sounds, it’s not as easy to apply. When we speak, we don’t always pay attention to how loud or soft our voices are or whether we enunciate the sounds of each letter correctly to make sure the people we’re speaking to can hear and fully understand what we’re saying.
Another thing we may not be paying attention to is the speed at which we speak. Sometimes we may be speaking so fast that it becomes difficult for the listener to fully make out what’s being said. This doesn’t mean that we need to speak with slurred speech, because you will lose the attention of your listener as they lose interest in what’s being said.
Listen With an Open Mind
Almost everyone thinks they know the difference between listening and hearing, or at least they know it in theory. Listening and understanding involve keeping an open mind about how different each and every person is. Even with people who share similar backgrounds, they still have different ways of expressing themselves and delivering their message.
Understanding the way people communicate involves learning their own language, even if they speak the same language. For example, two people can be speaking Spanish, but each has their own way of expressing themselves based on their experience, preferences, and behavior. This is where the concept of NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming comes to aid. NLP, a method of understanding people’s perspectives through their choice of terms, body language, and behavior to understand and change the way they perceive the world.
The term was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s. They attempted to better understand people’s behavior through the way their brain maps out everything they experience. They used this concept to treat many issues including phobias, lack of confidence, and communication issues.
Learning more about NLP helps people understand that there is so much more to communication than the spoken words that come from people. For this reason, everyone needs to keep an open mind and give the person speaking the chance to fully express what they’re trying to say.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
We may think it’s wrong to be asking questions about what the person speaking means, or if they’re referring to something else, or simply asking them to repeat what they said because we don’t understand. Asking these questions helps both you and the speaker clarify the message being communicated. Saying you don’t understand doesn’t mean you’re not smart enough to get the message. It means the speaker did not effectively communicate their point through to you, which means they need to try a different way. It helps both you and the speaker communicate better.
Speakers also need to ask listeners questions to make sure they got their intended message through to them. Communication is a two-way street, so it’s best that both parties understand each other clearly.
Say Specifically What You Want to Say
One of the most common misconceptions is that people need to say too much. What you really need to do is be very specific about what you want to communicate. Being brief and concise helps your listeners or readers stay engaged with you and not lose their focus. It’s important that you don’t divert their attention to unnecessary details that deviate from the topic of the message you want to deliver.
Learn More About Nonverbal Communication
We don’t always “say” what we want to say. There are endless messages we reveal through body language and tone of voice that completely change the meaning of the words being said. Facial expression alone can give a whole other meaning to anything we say, which is why we must always be careful of these little details that give all the meaning to words.
As a society, we’ve always strived to improve our methods and quality of communication. People are always either trying to be listened to or trying to understand what other people are telling them. This is an indispensable skill that is a prerequisite for success in any field or sphere of life. Since this is a critical skill, we are continuously working on mastering it. Miscommunication leads to numerous unpleasant consequences that may even end up being extremely dangerous.