facebook

6 Communication Tips That Every 'People Person' Knows

Photo: Pexels 
6 Tips On How To Improve Communication Skills & Communicate Effectively With Others
Self

Seek clarity and watch the drama dissipate.

Why is communication important? Are you aware of how to improve communication skills by making slight adjustments to your daily conversations with others? 

Full disclosure, I’ve been a student of communication style and human interaction for most of my life. I remember being labeled "shy" as a kid — reticent to interact with people I didn’t know well. But, I also know because I remember clearly that I watched and listened — a lot.

RELATED: 4 Communication Barriers That Threaten Your Relationship Happiness (& How To Overcome Them)

Knowing the importance of communication paves the way for more effective communication between you and the people you have relationships with. 

For me, it felt important that I understood the context in observing people, to get a handle on both what they were saying and what they weren’t saying. And those observations led to a lot of questions, much to my parents’ frustration, I’m sure.

Here are 6 tips for improving your communication skills so you can learn how to communicate effectively with others. 

1. Listen to understand, not respond

This changes everything. Due to our hyper-connectivity, we’ve closed the gap on the pause. We’re bouncing info and words back and forth at a pace the world has never experienced before, which naturally leads to both miscommunication and confusion.

Rather than really listening to what someone is saying, we’re busy waiting for the moment that we get to speak — which also means we’re not really understanding what the other person is communicating.

Pay attention to this the next time you’re in conversation with someone and you’ll feel what I mean. It takes a concerted effort and lots of practice to be an excellent listener, but it’s well worth the practice.

2. Ask questions 

Don’t make assumptions about what’s being said because we’re all wired to be more vigilant about negativity than positivity. If you’re not sure, ask clarifying questions.

Be the kind of person that seeks clarity at all times and in all ways. We’re all worried about looking stupid, so just let that go.

I learned as a working reporter that people would much rather you ask that "stupid question" rolling around in your head than have you assume something and be wrong about it.

3. Seek commonality, not difference

The sages have said this for years — as humans, there’s more that binds us than separates us.

Find that connection point and watch how much clearer and more authentic your interactions become.

RELATED: 4 Ways To Be More Assertive & Respond To Overly Controlling People (Without Being Rude)

4. Release the desire to ruminate on things

Some of the loudest places I’ve ever been are in my own head and much of what rolls around in there is, frankly, useless and pointless. Get real with this about yourself.

Ruminating on things is a human tendency but the output is rarely helpful. Some things are just that — things, circumstances, and events. You don’t need to analyze them in gory, repetitive detail.

Put another way, let it go. Observe, learn, process and move on.

5. It’s never personal 

People get into patterns of behavior. They communicate certain ways because those ways have paid off somehow in the past. If a person’s style of communication irks you, know that that style has worked out for them in some fashion. It’s not directly related to you and the shared circumstance you’re in. It’s not personal, so don’t make it so.

Once you make it personal, you’ve created a blockade between you and that other person and you will seek evidence in the future to support your position, feelings, and…on and on it goes. Get off that train now because the destination is less than fun. Always.

6. Be consistent

It’s my belief that there’s nothing more reassuring than someone who is consistent. I get that this takes a large degree of control and tact to make this your style, but the payoff is huge.

Think about the people that you interact with regularly. Think about the ones that are consistent in style, form, and manner and then think about the ones that make you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. You’re overly diligent about not triggering them so there’s always some degree of inauthenticity in your communication with them.

With a little work, anyone can be consistent but a key ingredient is slowing things down. Ask for time when you need to consider something and be really aware of how you’re occurring to other people — not self-conscious, but self-aware.

Good communication skills require awareness of not just yourself and your actions, but also how others typically interact and react to you. 

Now that you know how to communicate better, ask yourself: What is your payoff in creating and recreating that type of interaction? Why do you want people you’re in a relationship with to be off-balance? Do you feel more "in control" when others are unsteady? Why? Does it empower you in some way?

Once you understand something about yourself fully, you’re better able to own it and then change it.

Put some of these ideas to work, and I’d encourage you to spend more time just observing — without judgment — the interactions of daily life, your own included. Trust your senses about what you’re seeing and feeling — those abilities are there to help you but must be utilized to affect any understanding and perhaps, if you choose, change.

RELATED: If You Notice These 5 Habits In Your Relationship, Your Communication Skills Need Some Serious Work

Erika Isler is a Personal Development Coach. If you'd like to reach her to discuss how she can help you, feel free to reach out via her author profile.

This article was originally published at erikaisler.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.