Learning Effective Communication

It’s not easy to know everyone’s communication style. You have to be aware of where people are at and understand how conversations work to develop better skills in communication. I remember that I learned in junior high school that life isn’t all about bragging about who you are and what you can do- it’s actually better to become involved in what the other person says and then reveal a little about yourself as you become comfortable.

Learning effective communication is something that is a work in progress within our house. I have two strong willed daughters who definitely will make their opinions known- and want you to talk back to them in less than a sentence so they can go on once again. We’ve had to be careful when we put out thoughts that are confusing or possibly making them feel shame about themselves. Often they will hang on the negative word without really listening to the whole context of the phrase or sentence.

I think you become a better communicator through listening. I mean real active listening- where you show appropriate eye contact, facial expressions and engage in follow up questions to truly understand what the person you are talking with is saying. How many times so we engage in this activity in our fast paced lives? We seem to want to cut people off or think we know what they are saying before they’ve finished the thought coming from their brain and out of their mouth.

Children will learn best through you as a parent and a role model. If you cut them off in conversation, don’t expect them to be able to stand there for long without doing the same in return. It’s not the time to show off your impressive vocabulary either- simpler, quicker to understand concepts go a long way to becoming mainstay ideas that last a lifetime.

Take a speech class or go through Toastmasters if you want to be a better public communicator. We all need consistent feedback on how to improve in this area- especially with the fear of public speaking being so high on everyone’s list. Don’t you want to give people help and communicate ideas effectively? Imagine how much this will improve your own self-esteem? Imagine how if you are an expert on a topic that others could use your help in, how valuable this could be for a second part-time or even full time career?

I remember hearing many times throughout life that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason- so we can listen twice as much as we talk. Take the time out of your life to plug into someone else and listen- you may be surprised how much you have in common with that person and how much more you will learn. Even if it’s someone half your age or even your child- they may be able to teach you something you didn’t already know. Thank you once again for reading and keep up the good work on your journey to health, happiness and success.

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