Have you ever walked away from a discussion thinking the other person was an absolute jerk? Wait… are people thinking that about you?! Effective communication reduces conflict, frustration, and resentment, while increasing understanding, respect, and clarity.
“A lord must learn that sometimes words can accomplish what swords cannot.” George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Tips for improving your verbal convos:
- Speak honestly and directly without being hurtful. It’s OK to show vulnerability. #straighttalk
- Listen, listen, listen and ask for clarification as needed. Sometimes we only want to talk or are in such a hurry to answer that we don’t hear what the other person is saying. If it is a contentious situation, summarize what the other person has told you so they know you have heard them (you don’t have to agree with it). #notalwaysaboutme #listenlikeatherapist
- Be aware of non-verbal communications. What is your body telling them while you are conversing? Do you have a pleasant facial expression? Arms crossed in front or turning your body away shows disinterest. Duh?? What is the other person communicating to you? Cats really are the masters of non-verbal communication.
- Tone and intensity matter. It is OK to show emotion, enthusiasm, or excitement, but remember it can work for you or against you. If you are demeaning when giving feedback, be ready for total shutdown. Showing enthusiasm for a project can get others excited about it as well. Good communicators are able to control unexpected emotions and use them to communicate their point. #feedbackisagift #youarescreeeaaaming
- Be aware of how fast you are speaking. Ever try to carry a conversation with an auctioneer? Give the other person time to process what you say. #waitforit
- Keep it short but be specific. Think about what you are going to say and try to be as concise as possible. What is it you want them to hear or know? #gettothepoint
- Maintain good eye contact. Have you ever spoken with someone who was looking everywhere but at you? Keep your attention on the person you are having the discussion with. It demonstrates interest in what they are saying. #eyesontheprize
Take A Hike:
Is there someone you are having trouble communicating with? Use these tips in your next discussion and see if the conversation goes more smoothly. Remember, verbal communication is a 2-way street!
Benefits of improved verbal communication skills are:
- More happy emoji faces
- Less ‘sorry, not sorry’
- Less glaring and sighing
- Fewer pisstified moments
- Poison free coffee!