7 tips to master effective, productive communication

Nov 01, 2017 | Kaitlyn Matousek

Be a good communicator

Good communication is one of those intangible yet paramount skills that help in every facet of life. Whether you’re trying to nail your job interview, or trying to resolve family conflict, good communication invariably makes life so much easier and less stressful.

Feel like you're sometimes misunderstood? Gearing up for a particularly stressful or confrontational conversation? Consider these 7 tips to help you get your message across:

1. Be a good listener.

It might seem funny to think the first step to communication isn’t talking but listening. Being a good listener shows the other person you are interested and care about what they think. So when it's your time to speak they will be much more receptive to listening to you.

2. Be mindful of your body language.

Body language is important because it can make or break whether the other person wants to talk to you. Remember to not cross your arms across your chest, or put them on your hips. Keep friendly eye contact and angle your feet towards whoever you are addressing.

3. Don’t be judgmental; try to emphasize as much as possible.

Even though we might not like to admit it to ourselves, we all can be a bit judgemental sometimes. However looking down on other’s decisions does absolutely nothing good for us. Instead try to empathize your thoughts with the other person as much as possible. Connections are formed when you try to imagine yourself in the others person's position and try to understand where they are coming from.

4. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind

Don’t be afraid to say what you really feel. Remember, your feeling are valid, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

5. Avoid using superlatives like always and never.

Try to avoid using words like never and always during a heart to heart conversation. It’s  very unlikely someone always does this or never that. The other person might feel wrongly accused so try to use language as close to real events as possible.

6. Know what you want out of a conversation.

Sometimes you might feel a lot of emotions towards a particular event or situation, and those emotions may be difficult to put into words. Try putting off any conversations until you sort out your feelings and can state them accurately. This will allow you to clearly articulate how you feel and how you would like things to be in the future. If you’re having trouble deciphering your emotions try going somewhere quiet and peaceful and jot down some of your thoughts.

7. Keep an open mind.

Honestly, one of the most important aspects of good communication is to keep an open mind. Don’t go into a situation thinking this is what definitely will happen or this person will never apologize. By keeping an open mind you remain open to all the amazing possibilities in front of you.  

Communication styles vary wildly, and there's no universal communication style that is better than the rest, but staying mindful of these 7 tips can only help you in your day-to-day life. 

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