6 Ways To Be A Better Communicator
Just because you can speak doesn’t mean that you’re a great communicator. It’s just like assuming that someone is a good listener just because they can hear you. In fact, being good at communication often means that you’re a great speaker as well as a great listener. When you’re a good communicator, you should ask questions to gather full understanding. You keep eye contact and above all pay attention to the cues that are being given to you by the other person or people that you’re speaking to. These cues are both verbal and nonverbal. Even when you are under fire, you do not get defensive. When someone goes on the defensive in a conversation, they lose. You must maintain control of the conversation but without ire or overreaction. This means that you should never browbeat those that you’re speaking with. Confidence, focus, pleasant tone, and attentiveness are all great assets of a great communicator.
So, how can you become a great communicator? Below are 6 ways that you can use to guide you on your journey to reconditioning how best to speak, react, and communicate with those around you. Whether they are a spouse, your children, your boss, or your employees.
1. Control Your Response
You and only you are responsible for your reactions. It’s your voice, your reaction, and your choice as to what you’re going to say and when you’re going to say it. The things that you must try to never do are to debate, defend, explain, antagonize, cajole, or nag. You simply choose not to have those things pass your lips no matter how badly you want to do it. This is part of making sure that you are in full control of your emotions. No one said that you can’t feel irritated or angry, but you can choose to not let it color your response or your words.
2. Ask Questions
When you ask questions, you aim to gain complete understanding of the situation at hand. It will also help you in the ability to reframe that situation so that you have better control of it. Asking such questions as, “What would you prefer?” or “What is the worst part?” are among the sort of things that you can ask to reframe.
3. Don’t agree with facts. Agree With Their Feelings.
The person that you’re talking to will attempt to give you the facts as they see them. You do not have to agree with these “facts”. Instead, agree with their emotional state. By acknowledging how they feel about a situation, you’re acknowledging that you have heard them. You can then focus on pointing out that they appear to be upset about the situation. “I don’t blame you for feeling angry.” is a response that you might answer with.
If you are not certain that you truly understand what the other person is trying to convey, you can try repeating back to them your interpretation of the events that are being explained to you. Once you repeat your interpretation of what you have been told, follow it up with asking if you have it right.
You need to have boundaries set for yourself so that you don’t get pulled into an argument. Hostility is fueled by arguing. You need to not lose control of the conversation, but you also need to know how to dispel hostility, not add to it. This is why you need to set limits as to how far you will let a conversation go when faced with such emotions. Try answering hostile comments with, “I’ve never thought of it that way” or “You may have a point.” This will keep the other person from feeling that you are at odds with them.
6. Use Precise Wording
Again, this is a portion of a conversation that you don’t want to lose control of by using the wrong words. If you’re speaking to someone and you don’t feel that they’re listening to you, you might consider saying something like, “I don’t feel that you listen to me.” Don’t say, “You never listen to me.” This way, you’re expressing your emotion on the subject instead of placing blame and potentially fueling an argument.