12 tips for effective communication
Effective communication is the foundation of successful relationships. Knowing how to communicate implies transmitting the message clearly and that it is understood by the receivers. For this, a series of aspects must be considered, such as context, tone of voice, body language and handling of emotions.
It is said easy, but sometimes it can be a challenge when communication fails with misunderstandings, fights or conflicts. To avoid these scenarios, here are some tips to help you express yourself and understand others.
What is effective communication?
In effective communication Information is transmitted in an understandable and clear way. Consequently, it does not cause doubts, confusion or misinterpretations in the recipients. To achieve this, it is essential that the verbal and non-verbal language are in tune.
Also, this type of communication is not one-sided. That is, it stimulates the feedback of the message sent. Since, just as it is important to express yourself, it is also essential to know how to listen, respect and integrate the opinion of the other.
Importance of effective communication
We are social beings. We are always interacting with other people. Therefore, it is key to be able to express ourselves and communicate properly.
We live in an individualistic society in which our own opinions are imposed, without giving the other the opportunity to be heard.
Effective communication allows the interacting parties to develop strong relationships. That is why it is considered essential to practice it in the various relational contexts: work, family, educational.
In the workplace, for example, this type of communication allows the integration of human resources, as well as a clear knowledge of the goals and objectives to be followed. It also motivates the staff and makes them feel like part of the team.
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Tips for effective communication
The ability to communicate effectively develops with practice. If you want to make it a habit, take into account the following tips.
1. Identify what you want to convey
You must be clear about the message you want to convey. Otherwise, it will be difficult to make you understand. Once you identify the purpose of the communication, try not to deviate. This way you avoid causing confusion in the receivers.
If you have several topics to communicate, divide them and deal with them in an orderly fashion. Avoid mixing them. Once you close with one start with the next.
2. Consider the context and recipients
Think where and to whom the message will be transmitted, so that you can adjust to it. It is not the same to issue a statement to your boss, at a business conference, than to your partner during a romantic dinner. The environment will determine the best way to express yourself.
3. Use an appropriate tone of voice
The content of the message and the situation will also determine what tone of voice is appropriate.. If you are speaking to an audience, it is best to use a raised tone. Contrary to this, raising the volume in a conversation of few people can be interpreted as aggression.
4. Actively listen
Active listening implies paying attention to everything that our interlocutor says. A common mistake is to speak without listening to what the other has to say. In other words, while the other person is expressing their point of view, we are thinking about the next answer to give. Thus we disrespect him and do not achieve a genuine understanding.
Another mistake is to listen and pay attention only to what is wanted, ignoring what does not interest us or what goes against our reasoning. It is as if we have a filter that focuses on information that is consonant with our emotions and thoughts.
5. Respect your interlocutor
Not everything that the interlocutors emit will be in tune with our positions. The ideal is to accept this reality and respect the differences. This implies not imposing our beliefs or opinions and stimulate reflective and inclusive dialogue.
6. Avoid interrupting the other
Respect turns to speak within the conversation. As we have already said, listening to the other is an essential characteristic of effective communication.
Interrupting is considered rude. Avoid it at all costs. Speak up when the others have finished.
7. Be empathetic
The Royal Academy of the Spanish Language (RAE) defines empathy as "The ability to identify with someone and share their feelings". This means being able to identify the feelings and thoughts of other individuals and experience them as our own.
In effective communication it is essential to be empathetic, as it facilitates mutual understanding. If we want the message to reach the recipients successfully, it will be very useful to identify ourselves with the interlocutors. Knowing what they think, feel or think about the subject will lead to appropriate responses.
8. Be aware of non-verbal language
Non-verbal language (body gestures and postures) also convey a message. To achieve effective communication, the ideal is that the body and the words are in tune. This way we avoid confusion.
9. Make eye contact
The look is quite expressive, therefore, it is a fundamental aspect in effective communication. Try to maintain eye contact with the interlocutors in a natural way. This way you will transmit trust, interest and honesty.
10. Manage your emotions
The communicative act awakens emotions and feelings. What is expected in effective communication is have the ability to express them appropriately.
That is, prevent them from going to extremes, interfering with the objective of communication or disrespecting the interlocutors.
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11. Paraphrase and ask from time to time
Paraphrasing what your interlocutors express and asking them questions about the topic stimulates mutual understanding. What's more, shows interest in what they say or have to say.
12. Be open and integrate the different opinions
This means have an open mind to other possibilities. If you are predisposed to impose your beliefs and not accept other points of view, it will be difficult to achieve effective communication with anyone.
Your own speech can be nurtured by the contributions of others. If you allow diversity and integration, your message can reach many more.
Effective communication is a matter of practice
It is normal that at the beginning it seems difficult and forced to apply these techniques. Nevertheless, over time it will come out naturally and you will notice that your conversations will flow much more.
Once you have mastered the tips, misunderstandings will no longer be a problem. In addition, you will have stronger and lasting relationships based on trust.
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