Great Communication is Talking & Listening!
It’s been a week of mis-communication. I usually upload my blog on a Friday...did you miss me? A few people asked me where it was. It’s my bad, I know I should have blogged yesterday and it never occurred to me to let people know that it would be a day late. I failed to communicate! As a result I decided, at the last minute to change the subject! I needed a refresher on communication... So here’s my Blog...I’m so sorry it’s late!
Here’s a question to think about....
COMMUNICATION - Let's build bridges, not walls.
Quotes from Web to success Jo Bird
‘Communication only works effectively if you have the skills to do it correctly. It’s vital we get it right. A message is only successful when both parties understand it to mean the same thing.’
‘Think about what we do when we have a conversation with someone. If we hear something we want to respond to (assuming we don’t just jump in and talk over them), we stop listening and start thinking about our reply. This is how important information gets missed. If we’re thinking about our response, then we’re not listening.’
‘As you can see, we need interpersonal skills for face to face communication. If we have these tools at our disposal and use them, we can build rapport and empathy’
‘Our choice of words, tone, and communication can make all the difference.’
10 key communication skills: A precis of this article… http://liveboldandbloom.com/08/self-improvement/good-communication-skills
1. Body language Your body speaks volumes before you even open your mouth. How you stand, your facial expression, your eyes, all tell a story and a first impression. It doesn’t matter how powerful your words, if you don’t appear confident and friendly, people will assume you aren’t. Become aware of your body language, and make changes. Look others in the eye when you speak. Smile frequently. Stand up straight and hold your head high with your shoulders back. Don’t cross your arms or legs in a defensive posture.
2. Active listening Good communication isn’t just about talking and body language. It’s about listening as well. By listening, you improve relationships. Active listening involves consciously hearing beyond the words. It’s paying attention to the complete message being sent. Focus on the speaker, and don’t get distracted.
. Conflict resolution Conflict is inevitable and learning how to handle it is essential to making a relationship work. Many choose to avoid conflict because they don’t want to deal with the discomfort. This causes resentment and misunderstandings. When conflict triggers strong emotions, the needs and feelings of both parties must be considered. The ability to resolve conflict requires you respond in a calm, non-defensive, and respectful manner. When you’re in control of your emotions, you can communicate your opinions and needs without threatening others. Conflict resolution also means you can forgive and forget quickly, and that you have the ability to compromise for the sake of the relationship.
4. Authenticity People can sniff out phoniness a mile away. When you try to pretend you’re someone you’re not it’s an immediate turn-off. People also notice when you create a wall around yourself for protection. You can’t create connection in any relationship when you build walls. Authenticity means you are free to show others who you are with all of your flaws. It can be uncomfortable.
5. Emotional intelligence Emotional intelligence is our ability to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others. This is essential for effective communication. In this interaction between the speaker and listener, the speaker reads the other person and adjusts the conversation accordingly. The key to emotional intelligence is responding appropriately to the emotions of others through communication.
6. Tone of voice One of the elements of good communication is how you sound to others. If you mumble then your message will get lost as your listener struggles to understand you.
7. Mirroring There’s a part of your brain responsible for recognition of faces and facial expressions. This triggers you to copy facial expression you see in others. You mirror their expressions unconsciously. When you mirror someone’s body language, you are offering non-verbal cues that you relate to them. Research shows people who share the same emotions are likely to experience stronger levels of trust, connection and empathy. You can reverse-engineer this process to make close connections with others.
8. Ask questions One of the best ways to learn more about someone and to engage in active listening is by asking questions. Open-ended questions compel the person to reflect and share more of themselves. It makes them feel heard and invites dialog and intimate connection.
Follow-up questions after a response shows you are engaged in the conversation. Try not to interrupt or respond too quickly when the other person pauses. Sometimes silence and the discomfort of silence invites more sharing. People often have more they want to say, and it will come to the surface when you quietly wait for it.
9. Small talk There are occasions where lighter conversation is appropriate. Small talk is the polite and sometimes meaningless conversation you have at parties and other social gatherings. It’s a casual discussion that creates a friendly atmosphere and establishes common ground. Although it doesn’t always invite deeper connections, the skill of making small talk is important. It shows you can engage other people and put them at ease. For some, small talk flows naturally — but for others, it feels tedious and overwhelming.
10. Clarity and knowledge When you are communicating ideas and information it’s important to be clear. Know exactly what you are trying to communicate. Tailor your message to the audience, using language they will understand. Avoid unnecessary jargon or fluff, and keep your message precise. The more knowledgable and clear you are on your subject, the more confident you will feel. And your listeners will be more engaged and interested in what you have to say.
Good communication allows us to express ourselves and get our message across to other people. Good listening helps us to understand what other people have to say too. Good communication can help us to feel understood. It can also improve our relationships.
Listening is IMPORTANT
Listen carefully to what others have to say. Don't get distracted.
Avoid making assumptions. Check whether you have understood correctly.
Don't jump to conclusions. Ask questions if you are unsure.
Try to understand the meaning and emotions expressed by the other person. It can be helpful to know why they are saying something to you.
Think about what you mean to say before you say it.
Don't get defensive. Understand what the other person feels and why they’ve said what they said.
Express your own emotions in a considered way. Avoid using a confrontational style.
Styles of Communication There are a range of communication styles that different people use at different times. Some are more effective and appropriate than others, depending upon the situation. The three most common are passive, aggressive and assertive communication.
Passive communication. You prioritise the needs of others over your own. And you go along with what other people want to do. You find it difficult to say no.You fear people in authority. You cannot stand being criticised.
Aggressive You prioritise your own needs above the needs of others and you're always forcing your point through. You can't stand not getting your own way and you ignore other people and do not listen to their opinions and expressed needs.
Assertive You try to balance your own needs against the needs of others and ou take time to listen to other people's points of view. Expressing a preference before negotiating in a polite and constructive fashion. Believing that everyone should have an opportunity to express their needs showing
Techniques and Strategies
It’s common to find it difficult to communicate in certain situations. Here are some helpful tips on being assertive: You might also find the use of relaxation techniques helpful.
Maintain appropriate eye-contact.
Be polite but firm.
Keep a calm, relaxed tone of voice and body posture.
It can be difficult to hear criticism. It’s a chance to learn about yourself as. Helpful criticism can be useful. This is not negative insults. Try listening to what’s being said. Check you understand by repeating back in your own words. You might not immediately agree with what has been said. It is important to stand your ground, but not become defensive.
You can find more here http://www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/communication.asp
Another useful article on communication
The ability to communicate effectively with superiors, colleagues, and staff is essential, no matter what industry you work in. Workers in the digital age must know how to effectively convey and receive messages in person as well as via phone, email and social media.
Quotes on communication
‘Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.’ Ann Morrow Lindbergh
‘Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action.’ Anonymous
‘Communication works for those who work at it.’ John Powell
‘The two words 'information' and 'communication' are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.’ Sydney J. Harris
‘The great thing is to know when to speak and when to keep quiet.’ Seneca
‘When all other means of communication fail, try words.’ Anonymous
‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.’ Plato
‘Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few.’ Pythagoras
‘Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.’ André Gide
‘The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.’ Ralph Nichols
‘It seemed rather incongruous that in a society of super sophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners.’ Erma Bombeck
‘It is greed to do all the talking but not to want to listen at all.’ Democritus
‘Have something to say, say it, stop talking.’ George Horace Lorimer
"Communication is one of the most important skills you require for a successful life." Catherine Pulsifer
"Emotional awareness is necessary so you can properly convey your thoughts and feelings to the other person." Jason Goldberg