What is Effective Communication?
Communication is the exchange of thoughts, ideas and information. Effective communication is a two way street. More than just the words you use, effective communication is a set of skills including nonverbal communication, actively listening, the ability to communicate assertively, and the capacity to recognize and understand your own emotions and those of the person you are communicating with.
Communication is such an important part of life. It is important for building trust and relationships with others. It is a skill which will carry you through out your life; in school, at work and with your friends and family.
Here are just a few tips to keep in mind:
Become an engaged listener
Pay attention to nonverbal signals
Keep stress in check
What is your Communication Style?
Ever wonder what your communication style is? Often times we don't just fit into one category.
Depending on how we are feeling, we may let out one style more than the other. But, it is important to think about this..Maybe you will discover some patterns in your communication with others.
- Do you try to push your feelings away rather than express them to others?
- Do you worry expressing yourself will cause others to be angry or to not like you?
- Do you often hear yourself saying, "I don't care" or "It doesn't matter to me," when you do care, and it actually does matter?
- Do you try not to "rock the boat," keeping quiet in order to not upset others?
- Do you often go along with others' opinions because you don't want to be different?
- Are you concerned with getting your own way, regardless of how it affects others?
- Do you often yell, swear or use other aggressive means of communicating
- Are your friends often afraid of you?
- Do you not care if others get what they need as long as your needs are met?
- Do you have a tendency to be sarcastic in conversations with others?
- Do you give people the silent treatment when you're angry with them?
- Do you often find yourself saying one thing but really thinking another?
- Are you generally reluctant to express your emotions in words, resorting instead to aggressive behaviors, like slamming doors?
- Do you believe you have the right to express your opinions and emotions?
- When you're having a disagreement with someone, can you express your opinions and emotions clearly and honestly?
- Do you treat others with respect and respect yourself during communication?
- Do you listen closely to what other people are saying, sending the message that you're trying to understand their perspective?
- Do you try to negotiate with the other person if you have different goals, rather than to focus only on getting your own needs met?
We are all constantly learning from each other and ourselves. Effective communication involves understanding how you connect with others and how you want others to connect with you!