Communication can make or break a relationship. Either in families or any other kind of relationship. Communication takes a lot. Yes, we all know how to talk but that’s not it. we don’t listen. A lot of people listen to respond. Not so many people were raised in homes where they could just converse and not be defensive. And as a friend of mine said, listening is such an underrated skill.

Having said that; what can you do to communicate better? Here are steps to take while communicating.

Accuracy and communications

How are you feeling, right now?

A lot of people don’t even know how to explain how they are feeling. Words fail them, not in a good way but they don’t even keep track of how they feel. You need to know yourself to communicate better. If you failed to answer the question above accurately, then you need to work on your communication skills and being accurate while doing it. Don’t use too many words. Women are champions in this. We use a lot of words and we end up drowning the message. At the end of the statement, the other person is confused and doesn’t even know how to help you except feeding your sympathy.  Sympathy is not caring. Someone giving you sympathy doesn’t mean they get it; they might be confused about what you were saying. The bottom line, use fewer words and be accurate.

Listening

Listen to understand not to respond. Learn to just have a conversation and not take things personally every time. If you take communication as a way of being defensive, then you shouldn’t even be able to speak. Take it as a way of learning. To know where you went wrong, defend yourself where the need is but after understanding where you went wrong. Listen and if possible repeat what the other person said or take three seconds before responding. Put some thought into what you are about to say. Arrange your words in your mind carefully then speak. Only after understanding.

Seek clarification

I’m the kind of person who will ask ten times what you mean without fear. I don’t care if you’ll be offended or you might not want to repeat what you said, if I don’t understand I’ll ask. Because if it’s important, you’ll make me understand. Get in the habit or saying how you understand something and let the other person explain further if they feel like you haven’t understood. And dismissing someone because you feel like they don’t understand what you are saying in the hope of it making you look unique or weird or complicated and people don’t get you is just being childish. If you behave that way, good for you baby, we should get you some diapers. Make people understand, that’s how communication works.

Seek to understand

Seek to understand the be understood. That’s the only way communication will work best. Its way easier when you understand someone than make them understand.  Its way easier, I promise. Understand why someone behaves the way they do then make then understand how it makes you feel. It will be easy to find a solution to the problem.

We need effective communication to build strong relationships. To communicate, we need a no-judgment zone. No one will open up if they keep feeling like you’ll judge them. To not judge someone, you need to have an open mind. To have that, you need to realize that how you see the world and others it’s just a perception. There is a spectrum of perceptions. Yours is not right so let others live and exist in ways they can. Understand their perceptions. Be willing to learn about how others see the world. It’s the most fascinating thing you’ll ever allow yourself to experience. Opens your mind to possibilities. Always aim for effective communication, the world needs it.

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