Good communication is very important for healthy relationships, whether that relationship is personal, professional, or intimate. Lack of positive or mature communication in any relationship or friendship can cause problems.
Tackle The Fear of Communication
Make it your goal to become a superb communicator in every area of your life. If you have a tough time talking to your kids, partner, clients, friends, etc., it’s time to contend with your fear or lack of skills. I remember wanting to communicate better many years ago, as communication skills go a long way in the real estate investment industry. At first, I was a little nervous, but through education, courage, and consistency, I’ve become an excellent communicator.
Here are some tips to improve your communication skills:
- Communicate Calmly. To communicate better, remember the art of keeping your emotions in check. For example, if you want to talk to your spouse about their irresponsible behavior lately, don’t do it when they come home late again, missing dinner, and you’re seeing red. Calm yourself down as best as you can before having the conversation. I know this is easier said than done, but it can become a habit to approach topics calmly and maturely. It takes practice.
- Talk And Listen. Speak your mind, but take the time to listen. As you listen, don’t be thinking about what you want to say next. Really listen to the other person and try to understand their heart. If one of your clients starts yelling about something, simply ask them what is bothering them and listen. Then, remain cool and collected and have a conversation about their issue.
- Don’t Text Your Feelings. Ever gotten into a text war? Ever spent a whole day in a text war? It’s a waste of time and energy. So many things can go wrong in a text conversation. You can take one sentence the wrong way and instantly get defensive or angry and off you are in the text war. If you’ve got something to say, call the person or get with that person face to face. This will give you time to think about what you want to say and time to cool off if need be.
- Make Time To Talk. Life can get so busy and often we find ourselves talking about the weather, jobs, kids, sports, and the news and neglect some of the more intimate and meaningful topics. When is the last time you had a discussion with your partner about their dreams, goals, fears, or accomplishments? When is the last time you sat with your children and just talked? I mean really engaged in a meaningful and heartfelt conversation? Make some time to really talk consistently, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable. If you’re in a relationship, get underneath the surface topics. Communicate your true insights, feelings, and dreams. Take your kids on a walk or lie with them for a few minutes when you tuck them in. Ask them questions. Ask them to share. Make the time.
- Be Honest And Kind. Honesty without kindness can come across as just plain mean. When people hear something they may not want to hear, remember that kindness matters, and you know what? It will surely be received better that way.
- Make A List. If you forget what you want to communicate when you’re face to face with someone, make a list and take it with you. This way you won’t forget what it is you wanted to cover.
- Remove “Always” And “Never” From Your Vocabulary. Words like “always” and “never” do not belong in a conversation because they are almost always an exaggeration. Use phrases like, “I feel like you aren’t listening” instead of “You ALWAYS ignore me”. Or, “I feel like you don’t spend enough time with me” instead of “You NEVER spend time with me.” Remove the exaggeration.
- Say I’m Sorry. Sometimes you’re going to be wrong or do something that hurts another person. Be the kind of person who can own this and just say, “I’m really sorry.” You don’t have to go on and on or conjure up reasons why you felt justified or anything like that. Just a simple apology makes you a better communicator.
I hope that these tips help you become a better communicator. Take the time to communicate openly, honestly, and with kindness. Trust me, others will notice.