You’ve probably heard about the importance of communication in a relationship. It’s true in any type of relationship, too—not just romantic ones. Unfortunately, for as important as it is, communication is also very easy to get very wrong.
We all communicate differently. So, it’s no surprise as to why we sometimes run into communication issues.
These issues can lead to bigger problems if they aren’t resolved. Thankfully, there are ways you can improve your own communication. When you do, you can avoid a lot of headaches, gain respect, and feel more self-confident in the way you speak to others.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at four tips you can put into place to improve on some of the most common communication issues.
Practice Active Listening
Most people can hear someone when they’re talking, but actually listening is a different story. When you’re listening to someone talk, are you giving them your full attention? Would you want them to give their full attention to you?
Whether someone is talking about something of interest to you or not, it’s important to really listen and let that person know you’re listening. Engage in the conversation by giving nonverbal responses.
Furthermore, ask questions and look interested. You’ll make the person speaking feel valued and respected. As a result, they’re more likely to give you the same courtesy in return.
One of the biggest problems in communication is assumptions. Maybe you feel like you’ve heard the same piece of information fifty times before. Maybe you think you know the end of the story before the speaker actually gets to it.
But, it’s important not to assume anything about what someone is saying. When you do that, you’ll start to “tune out,” and you might miss something important. The ending isn’t always what you might think.
If you don’t give a speaker’s story the attention it deserves, you could miss information that could be beneficial to you in some way.
Try Not to Let Your Emotions Drive
Communication issues are often fueled by emotions. It’s hard not to let emotions take control when we’re talking. This is especially true if you’re passionate about something.
But, emotions can get in the way of clear and concise communication. They allow you to get easily angered or offended by something someone says.
Instead, choose to be respectful and don’t react to things instantly. When you do, you’re more likely to say something you will later regret. Knee-jerk reactions are never a good idea, so give yourself time to think before responding by keeping your emotions in check.
Don’t Side-Step Communication
Perhaps the biggest communication issue is that many people tend to avoid communication completely if they know the conversation will be difficult.
As a society, we tend to have a hard time with confrontation and facing difficult things. But, sweeping something under the rug or avoiding it will only make the problem continue to grow and get worse.
Talking about it—no matter how difficult it may be—will be the best thing you can do in the long run. You’re also more likely to gain respect from your peers, family, or partner if you’re willing to talk about the hard things up front.
We all have trouble communicating effectively sometimes. But, if it’s become a serious problem in your life, take heart.
If you’re in the East Bay area, feel free to contact me. We can work on more tips to improve your communication issues and find ways to be a more effective communicator and listener.