Tips for Better Communication
The first time I met my husband, I fell for his eyes, the sound of his laugh, the way he gestured excitedly when talking politics. But what really sealed the deal for me was the two-word text he sent me later that night. Those two words won’t mean anything to this story, but they were important to me.
When you fell in love, made that big investment, or took a leap of faith, what were the words that convinced you? They don’t have to come from someone else. The can be the words you tell yourself when you need a little boost, a little encouragement, or a little love. Whether we think about it or not, words are always influencing how we feel.
So how do your words make others feel? It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking—or writing—to your children, your friends, your colleagues, or your clients, the words you use matter to your relationships. But the catch is that the same word can mean different things to different people. They can elicit different feelings depending on the tone and the context.
When Your Communication Style Matters
Unfortunately, many of us spend a lot more time worrying about the way we look to those people—whether we’ve impressed them with our possessions or our status—than we do about the things we say and write.
It doesn’t matter if your communications are professional or person, in person or in writing via text, email, or social media. All human interaction comes down to the way we make each other feel.
Whether the relationship is transactional, friendly, professional, romantic, familial, or something else, we can make each other feel valued or cheated, heard or ignored, supported or hindered, adored or despised, and so much more.
How to Be a Better Communicator
Conveying your message is challenging when there are so many opportunities for miscommunication. People not only have different love languages but different work languages, different small talk languages, and so on.
While we can’t speak—or even understand—the communication style of everyone we meet, there are ways to be more aware of differences and to bridge some of the gaps.
Here are a few considerations that will help you begin to improve your communication:
- Remember that most people just want to understand and be understood.
- Evaluate your own style of communication. When you feel ignored or unheard, or when you find yourself in the midst of conflict, take a look at your part of the conversation. Do you see any patterns?
- Take a look at your top two relationships—one personal and one business—and look at the communication patterns. Do they ask a lot questions? Do they use short phrases that are left to you to interpret? Do they try to lead the conversation or do they wait for you to bring up certain topics? Once you’ve thought about the dynamics of your communications, consider where you might improve. Try mirroring their style on occasion to see how they react. And ask for clarification when you aren’t sure what they are trying to communicate. Ask them if they feel heard.
Those are just a few tips to get you started. Follow me on Facebook for new posts. .