Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and diosraw0.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our fifth topic is focused on «Communication». Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!
Here are some tips to aid you on your journey of developing a communication mindset ~
- Listening. We all have a tendency to forget that communication is a two-way process of connecting. We fall into the trap of ‘broadcasting’, where we just issue a message, and fail to listen to the response. Quite a lot of the time, we are not really listening to others in conversation, but thinking about what we plan to say next. Listening is not the same as hearing. Learning to listen means not only paying attention to the words being spoken but also how they are being spoken and the non-verbal messages sent with them. It means giving your full attention to the person speaking, and genuinely concentrating on what they are saying, also what they are not saying. Good listeners use the techniques of clarification and reflection to confirm what the other person has said and avoid any confusion. These techniques also demonstrate very clearly that you are listening – active listening.
- Much of a message is communicated non-verbally. Some estimates from scientific studies suggest that as much as 80% of communication is non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is often thought of as body language, but it actually covers far more; it includes, for example, tone and pitch of the voice, body movement, eye contact, posture, facial expression, and even physiological changes such as sweating. You can therefore understand other people better by paying close attention to their non-verbal communication. You can also ensure that your message is conveyed more clearly by ensuring that your words and body language are in sync with each other.
- Emotional Intelligence. Communication is awareness of our own and other people’s emotions, and an ability to manage those emotions. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that everything should be logical, and that emotion has no place. However, we are human beings at our core and therefore messy and emotional. There is considerable evidence saying that it is far more important for succeeding in life by developing our emotional awareness than what we might call ‘intellectual intelligence’. Emotional intelligence covers a wide range of skills, usually divided into personal skills and social skills. The personal skills include self-awareness, self-regulation and motivation. The social skills include empathy and social skills. Each one of these is broken down into more skills departments. For example: Self-awareness consists of emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment and self-confidence. Empathy is the ability to ‘feel with’ others, to share their emotions and understanding them.
- Using Humour. Laughing releases endorphins that can help relieve stress and anxiety. Most people like to laugh and will feel drawn, like a moth to a flame, to somebody who can make them laugh. Don’t be afraid to be funny or clever, but do ensure your humour is appropriate to the situation. Use your sense of humour to break the ice, to lower barriers and gain the affection of others. By using appropriate humour you will be perceived as more charismatic.
- Treat People Equally. Aim to communicate on an equal basis and avoid patronising people. Do not talk about others behind their backs and try not to develop favourites; by treating people as your equal and also equal to each other, you will build trust and respect. If confidentiality is a prominent issue, make sure boundaries are known and ensure its maintenance.
- Questioning. Questioning is a vital skill to ensure that you have understood someone’s message correctly. It is also a very good way of obtaining more information about a particular topic, or simply starting a conversation and keeping it going. Those with good questioning skills are often also seen as very good listeners, because they tend to spend far more time drawing information out from others than divulging their own opinions.
- Think about how your message might be received by the other person. Tailor your message to fit. By communicating clearly and simply, you can help avoid misunderstandings and potential conflict with others. You can check that they have understood by asking them to reflect or summarise what they have heard and understood. It can also be helpful to pay attention to differences in culture, past experiences, attitudes and abilities when conveying your message.
Let us leave you with this quotation to ponder..
“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” ~ Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Let us know below how you are developing a communication mindset, we look forward to reading your words.