It’s interesting isn’t it that we all talk to each other, at work and at home, with family, work colleagues and friends, and yet we can all misunderstand one another, misinterpret what the other person has said, and relationships as a result can go pear-shaped!
There are so many ways we can communicate, face to face, phone, video or texting. Face to face is always best but we can’t always do this and so when we resort to phone, video or texting, things can be misinterpreted more easily.
The other thing that we need to take into consideration is our own preferences. For some face to face is always best, others either love or hate using the phone. We often therefore avoid a particular form of communication because of this, and this can start to cause an added barrier in our own communication and our communication with others.
So how can we best use our communication with others the best way possible?
Here are some ideas which you might want to use if you feel they fit for you:
- Listen, hear and be present – often when we are hearing what the other person says, we are spending our time either formulating our replies or we’ve gotten distracted with something else; active listening is about being present and really hearing what the other person has said and consider asking more about what they’ve said rather than responding with ‘your story’ or your reply
- Responding respectfully – often we can be guilty of preaching or repeating our point because we feel ‘we know better’; this can affect communication and relationships; the tone we use, and body language is important here also as well as being respectful in responding to really understand how the person feels and remembering ‘we are not walking in their shoes’, and we don’t really understand exactly how someone feels
- Asking open questions – this shows we are really interested in what the person is saying, we can learn so much from others, and listening to them and asking open questions can take a conversation deeper; we learn more about them and often find we’ve learned something from the conversation; concentrate on it being about them and not you and see how different it is
Being prepared to do some of the above and I’m sure you’ll be amazed and really surprised what you might learn.
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