How to effectively communicate with others is one of the most important skills you will ever learn.Here are some practical suggestions for how to effectively communicate with others. They are mostly common sense, but the saying goes, “common sense is not all that common!”
1. Speak privately, behind closed doors. No one likes an audience to discuss personal or sensitive matters.
2. Respect space. Stand or sit no closer than 3-5 feet from the other person. We all like to have a safety or “buffer zone” around us.
3. Make eye contact. Look at the other person without glaring or staring.
4. Watch your voice. No yelling or loud talking. Otherwise, the other person may become defensive and shut down.
5. State your position or concern clearly and directly along with the result you are looking for.
6. Avoid extremes of thinking or talking: “You always…, you never…”
7. Don’t “label” the other person: “He’s lazy, stupid, etc.”
8. Don’t tell others how THEY feel: “You are doing this because you are upset with me.”
9. If you find yourself getting upset, breath slowly and deeply, lower your voice, slow down you rate of speech, step back.
10. Seek to understand where the other person is coming from and what their view is.
11. Thank the other person for listening and sharing.
12. Sometimes it is best just agree to disagree.
13. You can disagree without being disagreeable.
I have written a number of pocket sized guidebooks which include sections on how to effectively communicate with others and many other useful strategies to improve your interpersonal effectiveness. Learning these skills can benefit you in your personal relationships and you your relationships at work, whether it be with customers or those you work with. The booklets are small enough that you can carry with you and refer to whenever you need to helpful reminder on how to effectively communicate with others. By reviewing these ideas frequently, they will eventually become automatic and a natural part of your interpersonal interactions.
For more ideas on how to communicate effectively with others and related topics, check out other blogs and articles by Dr.Robert Heller at www.cognitivetherapy.cc