Effective Communication - A Complete Guide

Effective Communication - A Complete Guide

What is effective communication?

Effective communication is a lot more than just exchanging information. It encapsulates various elements like – understanding emotions and non-verbal cues, being able to clearly convey the message, and listen in a way that it is helpful for you. The way you communicate becomes a part of your personality and to communicate effectively it involves attaining some important skills.

What’s stopping you from communicating effectively?

The most common barriers to effective communication are –

  1. Stress and out-of-control emotions

When you’re stressed or emotionally overwhelmed you must not have a conversation. It is more likely that you’ll misread people, say something that’s not meant to be said, or not understand the intention of the person. Always talk with a calm mind and don’t let your emotions overpower you.

  1. Lack of focus

You cannot communicate effectively if you’re multitasking. When you don’t focus on the conversation, it can get off track. Avoid doing other tasks, scrolling through your phone, and daydreaming to maintain your focus.

  1. Inconsistent body language

Your body language should be aligned with your communication and not opposing it. Make sure the message and body language match to put forward a good impression.

  1. Negative body language

If you disagree with something there is a way of putting things. Crossing your arms, avoiding eye contact, and tapping your feet are considered negative body language and must be avoided.

Tips to enhance communication skills

  1. Become a better listener

Effective communication is more about listening and less about talking. Listening doesn’t mean you simply hear things; it means you understand them and also understand the emotions and intentions of the speaker. Here’s how you can become an engaged listener –

  • Focus fully on the speaker
  • Favor your right ear
  • Avoid interruptions or trying to redirect the conversation
  • Show interest in what’s being said
  • Try to set aside judgement
  • Provide constructive feedback
  1. Pay attention to non-verbal cues

Non-verbal cues are such an integral part of a conversation. Developing the ability to understand and use non-verbal signs will only enhance your communication skills. Arms should be uncrossed, make eye contact, keep posture straight, avoid using too many hand movements and gestures.

  1. Keep stress in check

Stress is one of the roadblocks for effective communication. It clouds your imagination and thinking and can lead to negative thoughts. Make sure you’re in a calm state of mind and think from both party’s perspectives to avoid any judgments. Here’s how you can avoid stress – understand what causes stress and what are the triggering agents, take a minute to collect your thoughts and think before you speak, bring your senses to the rescue, look for humor in the situation, be willing to compromise and adjust, agree to disagree.

  1. Assert yourself

You should be direct and assertive while communicating. There is a fine line between being rude and being assertive and make sure to not cross that line. Don’t be hostile, demanding, or aggressive. Effective communication is about understanding the other person’s perspective, being empathetic, and taking criticism in a positive sense. To improve assertiveness - value yourself and your opinions, receive feedback positively, express negative thoughts in an appropriate manner, know your needs and wants, and learn to say ‘no’.



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