How to Repair Your Communication SkillsJuly 15, 2022
Humans are social animals; however, more often than not, we hit some serious roadblocks in our communications with one another. Whether we struggle to be clear, exhibit a lack of empathy, or the inability to read cues, our communication can suffer both big and small. Being an effective communicator takes many skills that must work collaboratively—it takes some serious effort! If you feel your communication skills could use some repair, read on to learn what you can do to become a conversation pro!
Communicating Uses More Than Our Voices
When we think about communication, we tend to only think about the words. However, communicating uses more than just our voices—it uses our entire body. When we speak with others, we actively interpret several things all at once. Therefore, a large part of our communication happens in the body. Below are things to focus on.
1) Sufficient Eye Contact: Yes, eye contact can be uncomfortable if you don't do enough or too much of it—it takes an efficient balance of eye contact to make you seem attentive and sincere. Be sure to hold your gaze for at least five seconds before you look away from who you are speaking with. On the other hand, don't initiate a staring match!
2) Be Genuine: It doesn't feel good when speaking with someone who seems bored or actively ignores your message. So when communicating with someone, be sure to exhibit genuine facial gestures. This effort will put your friend, colleague, or loved one at ease and aid in your exchanges overall.
3) Take up Space but Also Leave Enough Space: It can be hard to advocate for ourselves, but sometimes we must. If you need to communicate something meaningful, be sure to check your posture and concentrate on taking up space rather than hunching your back—this is a sign of authority and power. Don't go overboard, though, and be sure to give who you are speaking to with enough personal space.
Listening Is as Important as Speaking
Listening is not a passive activity—it should be an active one. If you are only focused on your message and not engaging with your friend, colleague, or loved one, they will not feel heard or considered. Concentrating on your listening skills can build up your empathetic and skilled communicator capacity. Now, memorizing everything someone is saying is not necessarily the point, but being engaged and considerate is the most important takeaway.
Our words create stories, and we communicate our stories to build one shared human experience. One of the most significant parts of being a great communicator is learning to empathize with others and their stories. If you relate to others, they will inevitably relate to you, making any communication that much for insightful and meaningful.
Whether we are communicating something big or small, happy or sad, complicated or simple—we spend most of our days exchanging messages with one another. Therefore, we owe it to ourselves to work on our communications skills to maintain healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives and relationships!