Are people receiving the message you want to send across?
Communication does not begin with being understood, but with understanding others.
If you feel unsure about how to communicate effectively with anyone, there are many strategies to do so.
However, I would like to share some thoughts on 7 strategies to improve our communication and relationship from being self-sabotaged.
1) Never Assume - One of the biggest causes in communication breakdown is miscommunication, resulting from assumption and unclear instruction. e.g. you tell someone to pick you up at a certain location at 5pm sharp. That someone came at 5pm sharp and they became angry because they have been waiting for over an hour at the wrong entrance. Usually when such thing happens, it creates tension to the relationship. Using the “5 Ws” approach can help to clarify others people message to you. They are the “Where, What, When, Who & Why”.
2) Avoid Unexplained Silence - There are times when you are angry at something and you don’t feel like talking to somebody. However, people around might not understand you and you need to be alone or you need a specific time to cool down before you engage in a conversation. Tell that someone you need to be alone for a moment to cool down your emotion.
3) Avoid Talking out of Negative Emotions - Avoid talking out of negative emotions like hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, resentment etc. If you do, the negativity of your communication will be felt and may hurt the relationship. Words uttered can not be swallowed back. In such a case ten minutes of refrain is better than ten years of regrets. Think Freely and Speak Wisely.
4) Avoid Confusing Instruction - Give step to step instruction.
5) Avoid Holding Back Your Energy - Have you experienced a situation where you felt bored listening to someone who seem not to have energy and interest when speaking to you? So put more energy, with your body, your facial expressions and your hand gestures. Generate enthusiasm in your voice when you speak to other.
6) Stop Neglecting Eye Contact - One of the surest ways to convey that you are not interested in communicating with a person is to avoid having eye contact with that person. Having eye contact shows that you are committed in relaying your message across to others and committed to listen and to be with that person.
7) Handle Wrong Tones - It is not so much of what you say counts; it is how you say it that creates an impact. Using the wrong tone will not help get the result you want. Tones that are caring, affectionate, soft and trusting will be more pleasing and will likely to yeild postitive response. Therefore, use the right tone to get the right response. Speak GENTLY when giving emotional support, FIRM and ASSERTIVE when you need to correct behaviors and actions.
So are we sending the right message? If not, take charges and change our strategy. So when we change the way we are communicating, then will people change their communication towards us.
When communication breakdown are avoided, we will see that it will turn into a power communication which will send our message, intentions or instructions on AN ARROW to the HEART of our LISTENERS.