The Way of Effective Communication
Effective communication is probably the most important of all life skills. It helps us in every aspect of life, from our professional life, to social gatherings and everything in between. Good communication is about showing meaning in what we say and how we say it.
A common cry heard in many interactions is: Say what you mean! It sounds so simple, but all too often, what we try to communicate gets lost in translation despite our best intentions.
We say one thing, the other person hears something else and misunderstandings, frustration and conflicts ensue.
Fortunately, you can learn how to communicate more clearly and effectively.
Whether you’re trying to improve communication with your spouse, kids, boss, or co-workers, you can improve the communication skills that enable you to connect effectively with others, build trust and respect, and feel heard and understood.
Communication is about more than just exchanging information. It’s about understanding the emotion and intentions behind the information.
Effective communication is also a two-way street. It’s not only how you convey a message, so that it is received and understood by someone in exactly the way you intended, but it’s also about how you listen to gain the full meaning of what’s being said to you and how you make the other person feel heard and understood.
More than just the words you use, effective communication combines a set of skills.
These include nonverbal communication, engaged listening, managing stress in the moment, the ability to communicate assertively, and the capacity to recognise and understand your own emotions and those of the person with whom you’re communicating.
Effective communication is the glue that helps you deepen your connections to others and improve teamwork, decision-making, and problem-solving. It enables you to communicate even negative or difficult messages without creating conflict or destroying trust.
A relaxed mind is the optimum starting point of all good communication. However, a relaxed mind has become a rare place in which to be. The result of this is that communication has become disjointed and misunderstandings are common place. Such is the world we live in today, but it hasn’t always been like this!
Myth has it that, once upon a time, all communication took place through the mind alone, and that words and sounds were just for entertainment.
Some say that one day it will again go back to those times, but for now, let’s look at a few methods to communicate on a more physical level. We will explore some Best Ways to help make communication relaxed and easy.
The Way of Good Listening
Everybody wants to talk, few want to listen. We will find ourselves poor communicators until we make up our minds we want to become good listeners. Listening requires a conscious effort and a willing mind.
Listening keeps me tuned into what’s happening and better informed as to what needs fixing or changing, thus reducing the risk of inter-personal conflicts. This is especially helpful in the work place, helping to create an environment of peaceful well-being.
Careful listening to different ideas and points of view helps me to make better decisions. It increases my impact when I do speak. It gives me power, influence and a negotiating edge. It shows respect, care and humility. People feel appreciated, and it invites love and respect.
By creating space, by creating thinking time, stress and anxiety are reduced. This greatly increases successful interactions.
Listen compassionately. Listen empathically. This takes more than just giving glib assurances. When such an accepting atmosphere is created, people are empowered. They are enabled to lower their defences, to be less aggressive, to share truthfully and to find their own solutions.
Effective listening is about maintaining good eye contact. It is about showing commitment and empathy through positive body language. It is about feeding the other’s content by endorsing key words or phrases, by building on their content and not deviating or side-tracking into my own interests.
Focused listening is about catching all that is being said. However, it is also about being able to decipher what is left unsaid, or is only partially said. Focused listening will help a nervous or inarticulate speaker link together pieces of their dialogue to make it more focused and clear. Effective listening allows the speaker to use silences or long pauses. Because there is no hassling and pressurising for immediate and concise information, the speaker is given a chance to comfortably gather their thoughts, to reformulate, if necessary, and then to carry on.
Good listening is when we check our understanding, isolate key features and ascertain the main intentions of the speaker.
Experiment with this idea, especially when you are with others, and see what you are observing and feeling. Later, notice if any changes begin to take place within your life or in your awareness.
Here’s an affirmation to help to crystalise your effective listening skills:
When I speak from my heart, I touch the heart and truth of others.
Accept taken from : How to Relax Your Mind –The 10 Best Ways, by Jim Ryan and Simon Ralph