Communication will either make or break any sort of relationship: whether it’s business, romantic, or interpersonal. If you don’t have good communication skills, the chances are, you don’t have good relationships either.
Generally speaking, women are good communicators, it’s in their nature to ‘talk’ things out. But, for a lot of men, communicating well can be a challenge. Perhaps this is because a big part of communicating well, involves expressing one’s feelings.
Men have come a long way in breaking down some of the macho barriers, but when it comes to openly expressing their feelings, there still seems to be a strong level of fear surrounding men being emotionally ‘open’. Men must realise, expressing emotions is no longer a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of self-realisation. The art of communication, is definitely through the heart…
On top of that, there are so many other facets that contribute to good communication. Listening is probably the most important part in any conversation. You must be able to listen to the other person, and listening doesn’t just mean with your ears, you must listen with your eyes as well.
Listening with your ears requires paying attention to what the other person is saying. You should not be thinking about your response whilst the other person is talking, nor should your mind wander to thoughts that aren’t related to the present moment. True listening requires your full attention!
Listening with your eyes means observing the other person’s body language and facial expressions. You can tell an awful lot by watching someone’s body language: it can help you adjust your communication skills to ensure a productive outcome to the conversation.
Honesty is another integral component to good communication. Many fear being honest with concerns it may inflame the conversation. But really, honesty is not the problem, it’s how you deliver the message that determines whether it is received well or not.
The best way to communicate in a non-confrontational way, is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes: think of how you would like to be told something of a touchy nature. This allows you to come from a place of compassion. It’s also good to start off the conversation with positive compliments or encouragement, before mentioning something of a more negative nature. This prevents the other person from feeling attacked by you and they will be more likely to be open to hearing something negative when feeling supported by words of encouragement.
Considering the other person’s feelings, as well as having the intent to be non-confrontational, will always help you approach any touchy subject in a thoughtful and compassionate way!
Being open and vulnerable, is also a great way to build rapport. This might seem daunting, but generally, showing vulnerability makes other people feel at ease. It shows them it is safe to be themselves in your presence – usually, that’s all anyone wants to feel during a conversation. The power lies with you to make the conversation a safe place, and the best way to do this, is by being open and vulnerable.
Communicating will only be as hard as you allow it to be and generally, people will reciprocate back what you give. The tone of the conversation really does lie with the person who is mindfully contributing to it. Some people are naturally aggressive, but if you choose not to be, you’ll soon find their power in the conversation fades away. It’s very hard to stay angry at someone who remains calm.
At times, everyone forgets to be mindful of the way they are communicating, but, if you can consciously ‘master’ these techniques, then you will become the ‘master’ of communication.