Effective communicators don’t need to impose. Their impact is in knowing how to build rapport, listen, and then frame their message.
Positive communication is about more than just delivering information. Making yourself understood, engaging with others, and hearing their needs are critical life skills, and communicating well is the foundation of healthy and productive relationships.
Listening well, and voicing your needs and wishes, are essential for healthy bonds with others. Effective communication is a requirement if you want respect, trust, and stable relationships. It’s almost a cliché that effective relationships need good communication. I now have an online course to help you develop the skills.
Avoiding the pitfalls
To come back to disagreement for a moment. It happens, and conflict is part of life. Whether at work or home, the people who stand out as happiest and most successful are the ones who express themselves well. Not with fancy language, but with the subtle influence that persuades others to stay with the conversation, and even to like them.
There’s a lot of it about
According to research, most of us think we communicate better than we actually do. For many years I’ve been asking my audiences what they think, to test this. How many of them, I wonder, consider themselves to be good communicators?
Generally, when I enquire, about half the people raise a hand. I then ask how many of them have got through the past two weeks without an upsetting argument or disagreement. Most of them lower their hands. Good communicators don’t avoid disagreements, but they navigate them with skill and respect so that nobody needs to get hurt.
Some people may think that effective communication is about using fancy words. Others (I have found in my 30-year in organisations), think that to communicate means you have to pump out lots of information. But if you watch a competent communicator doing their stuff, their conversations are marked by:
- Genuine interest in others
- Sensitivity to non-verbal cues
- Trust and respect.
Good communicators don’t need to impose; their impact is in their understanding of how to build rapport, listen, and then frame their message so that it is heard and understood. Typically, they recognise the needs of the person they are in contact with before they push their own.
It’s unfortunate that so many of us over-estimate our communication skills. When someone is good at communicating they are also adept and managing relationships and fostering harmony. Given the levels of strife and unhappiness in the world, the more people there are who can do that, the better.
We can all develop a style of communication which will influence how well we get our message across. We can learn to understand ourselves, and our fellow men and women, much better in the process. Critically, effective communication contributes to personal success, fulfilment and overall happiness with life.