Wether it’s your place of work, home, or out and about, good communication skills are arguably one of the more important traits to have. Effective communication is key in connecting with our peers, building relationships, avoiding misunderstandings and fostering good relationship growth.
Communication is like working out-- sure, some may be predisposed to be more charming (or more fit) than others, but it is a skill you can work on and hone.
Proofhub mentions the “7 C’s of Communication”. These are geared a bit more towards in the workplace, but could easily be applicable everywhere.
Concrete Is what you want to say credible? Do you have points to back it up? Does it sound solid?
Coherent Is the “flow” of what you’re saying easy to follow? Are you articulating to your audience properly?
Clarity Are you clear on what you want to say to the other person/group? Does it make sense? Will the person listening be jumping to conclusions or will they understand exactly what you mean?
Commitment Do they feel your authenticity? Can they tell you are believing what you’re saying?
Consistency Are you keeping the narrative consistent? Leaving no room for doubt or confusion?
Completeness Are you finishing your sentences and thoughts? Are things clear and concise?
Courteous Are you being polite and respectful to the other person/people? Are you valuing their input and opinions?
Even if you disagree on a subject, you can still be civil and kind.
Communication is essential to our survival. It’s how we told each other if there was danger, it’s how we express love and care, it’s how we set boundaries and well… we wouldn’t be very far without it!
Good communication skills isn’t something we’re all just born with. It is a skill and an artform to be able to communicate well with others. And like working out, our communication muscles can grow weak if not used and trained.
A very important part as well is that: communication is just as much about listening as it is talking.
The more your listen to the other pary, the better you will understand their point of view and opinions as well. And if you listen with an open mind (not clouded by your own personal opinions or feelings) you will be able to understand them much better.
And there’s more to listening than just standing there as well.
Non-verbal communication is just as important as your verbal: is your body language relaxed and open? Or are you boxy and closed off? Eye contact, nodding, these things can show you’re actively listening to the other person.
Keeping your own stressors and emotions in check can also help you become a more active listener, thus a better communicator. There is never anything wrong with putting a pin in a conversation if emotions are clouding judgement. It’s better than a misunderstanding happening, or someone saying something they didn’t mean to.
Be mindful of how you interpret body language as well: one person might not see crossed arms as a sign of disrespect, but someone else might. If you notice yourself feeling a certain way about a non-verbal form of communication, ask yourself if you’re truly reacting to what that person is talking about, or if you’re meeting them with your own triggers and trauma.
Look to the factual over the emotional to keep a clear head.
Sometimes there are barriers to overcome in communication. The more you do it, and the more experience you have, and the more different and unique people you meet, the better you’ll become at overcoming these barriers. Some places of work even have classes for communication barriers, especially ones in healthcare or public relations.
ZForm can streamline this process for you and give you an excellent form to follow along to overcome these barriers and communicate better. It won’t replace all of your skills, but it can certainly help you hone them. And communicating better will lead to improved relationships in and outside of the workplace.
Here are some more resources on effective
communication that could help you hone your skills!
Effective Communication: Improving Your Social Skills – Communicate more effectively, improve your conversation skills, and become more assertive. (AnxietyCanada)
Core Listening Skills – How to be a better listener. (SucceedSocially.com)
Effective Communication (PDF) – How to communicate in groups using nonverbal communication and active listening techniques. (University of Maine)
Some Common Communication Mistakes – And how to avoid them. (SucceedSocially.com)