How well do you communicate with others?
Please take a couple minutes to take these two quizzes before continuing reading this article.
In doing my research for this article today, I have found a wide variety of topics, perspectives and ideas on how to have better communications with others.
From John M. Grohol, PSYD,
Founder & Editor-in-Chief of PsychCentral (http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/04/14/9-steps-to-better-communication-today/all/1/)
Wrote about “9 Steps to Better Communication Today”.
Relationships don’t exist in a vacuum. They exist between two emotional human beings who bring their own past experiences, history, and expectations into it. Two different people also have different levels of skill when it comes to communication. But better communication, because it is a skill, can also be learned.
The most popular myth about communication in relationships is that since you talk to your partner, you’re automatically communicating. While talking to your partner is indeed a form of communication, if it’s primarily about every day, “surfacey” topics (“How were the kids?” “How was work?” “How’s your mother?”), you’re not really communicating about the important stuff. This article is primarily about how to talk in a more open and rewarding manner with your significant other.
Communication either makes or breaks most relationships. You can improve your relationship today, right now, by putting into practice some of these tips for improving the communication in your relationship.
- Stop and listen;
- Force yourself to hear;
- Be open and honest with your partner;
- Pay attention to nonverbal signals;
- Stay focused in the here and now;
- Try to minimize emotion when talking about important, big decisions;
- Be read to cede an argument;
- Humor and playfulness usually help; and
- Communicating is more than just talking.
It is my belief that these nine tips above apply to all our dealings with others.
Stephen Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People fame mentions that one should always seek to find win-win solutions. That win-lose or lose-win solutions are really lose-lose.
Applying lessons learned in our daily life, especially our dealings with others – are essential in developing better communication skills and how we approach life in general.
Granny once told me, “stand in front of the mirror at least once a day, and ask yourself how well you handled things that day and if you had a ‘do over’ what would you do differently”. Pretty good advice! Some days, I have avoided looking into that mirror, knowing that my actions were not in my best interest or others.
Ten Steps to Better Communication
- Spend more time together;
- Prioritize your time together;
- Never use intimidation tactics;
- Never assume you understand;
- Have your arguments one at a time;
- Do not ‘piggy back’ your arguments;
- Work towards a ‘win win’ rather than a ‘win lose’ situation;
- Choose your time carefully when you need to talk about difficult things;
- Don’t use ‘stonewall’. ‘cold war’, or ‘passive aggressive’ tactics to try and communicate your displeasure;
- Be aware of repeating unhealthy communication patterns that you have learnt from your parents; and
- Ok – I know I said Ten Steps, but here is one more for luck! (Try and remember to emphasize the positive more than the negative.)
Eight Steps to Better Communications
Scott Simpson, FAIA
Much like the word “design,” which can be both a noun and a verb, “communication” has many meanings. It can be both a thing (a letter, e-mail, or fax), or a process. It can be something that you send or something that you get. It’s such a simple word that we all think we know what it means, but all too often our attempts at “communicating” can create profound confusion. Experience tells us that even the simplest instructions can (and will be!) misunderstood. Confusing communications knows no hierarchy—whether up or down the food chain, the problem is pervasive. We all know that good communication skills are essential to the design process, because there is a tremendous amount of complex information that must be accurately conveyed to clients, contractors, and consultants. And yet, try as we might, we never seem to get it just right. Why is this? Why is simple communication so hard?
- Watch your word count;
- Write less, say more;
- Let your drawings and models do the talking;
- “Present in reverse”;
- Avoid inconsistency and exaggeration;
- Watch the visuals;
- Go for closure; and
- Know when to stop.