My friend’s daughters (a capture on my little camera at our home-school convention) have got this communication thing down pretty well! They are looking each other in the eye, they are smiling lovingly, and sincerely looking for ‘clues’ to the other’s thoughts. It would be wonderful if my attitude was always so excellent and winsome.
I confess that I struggle with being a good communicator; this is a huge topic in our family. I always desire to better listen to those around me, and I am trying not to read anything into what I hear. It would also help if I never interrupted. Anyone nodding their heads to this?
We enjoy the Jostie Flicks – there is always a seed of truth in her humor. Martha M. has some advice to help us gals. Listen and see if she touches on anyone’s area of weakness! I saw mine, for sure. We can learn some great lessons from her…
Communication Tips For Anyone
- Choose face-to-face communication. Not only does this make you more approachable and more memorable, it helps alleviate misunderstandings and miscommunication.
- Put email its proper place. Relegate email to confirmation of information, deadlines, meetings, etc. or as a follow-up mechanism.
- Perfect your punctuation. Give yourself instant credibility when you use proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar no matter what the medium.
- Listen well. Always remember why you’re listening to someone else. Probably because you need or want to learn or understand something or someone. So pay attention.
- Make and maintain eye contact. Making eye contact is said to help others feel understood. Remember, when your eyes are engaged, your ears are, too.
- Show attentiveness. Lean towards the person who’s talking to you to show that you’re interested, not distracted.
- Focus your attention. If you find your mind wandering, bring your focus back by repeating to yourself what the other person is saying.
- Be patient. Remember that it’s faster to listen than to speak.
- Pause. Give a full three-second count before you even think about speaking. (Sometimes the other person is merely pausing.) By waiting at least three full seconds, you give the other a person a chance to continue.
- Show respect. Demonstrate that you think the other person’s time and what they have to say is important.
- Be courteous. When making a phone call, always identify yourself and the reason for your call. And always ask if it’s a good time for the other person to talk.
- Smile! Flash those pearly whites in person, walking down the street and especially on the phone. People respond favorably to a smiling face. If you have to, keep a mirror by the phone to help you remember to smile during phone calls.
- Moderate yourself. Monitor the tone and volume of your voice. Speak clearly, slowly and at a normal volume. If this doesn’t come naturally, practice, practice, practice.
- Engage in only one conversation at a time. That means no multitasking! Put everything on hold while you’re talking with someone else. Even on the phone, people can sense when you’re engaged in things other than talking to them.
- Let the other person speak. Pause to give others time to get their thoughts together or to ask for clarification.
Thanks to Jan O. for these tips. They have already helped a lot.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” ~Colossians 4: 6
Thanks for reading!