How To Repair Your Communication Skills

You’d think that with the importance of communication that it would be taught in schools, and yet most of us learn how to communicate by trial and error. We say things we don’t mean, we are afraid to say what we really want, and we cause damage to relationships by not actively listening. Some people struggle with good communication skills so much that they have trouble holding down jobs and relationships.

The good news is that once communication skills are learned this can improve all facets of life. Here are some tips to improve your communication skills:

Listening is as important as speaking. Active listening greatly impacts your interactions with others. It not only makes you understand the other person’s viewpoint, but it encourages that person to know they are heard and that their voice is important. Practice active listening with others and notice what you find. Most people are eager to express their thoughts and grateful for a listening ear.

Nonverbal communication speaks volumes. We are constantly sending out messages via our actions and gestures, so you’re communicating all the time without actually opening your mouth. A person’s posture, facial expressions, and body language are often even more important than what is said in a conversation. Things such as mimicking body language and nodding with interest show the person that you are listening. 

Have a clear message of intent. If you have something important to say, make sure your intent is clear and you are choosing a good time to say it. This communication skill is kind of like having a goal in mind that you want to achieve in a conversation. Even though the conversation might stray, remember your intent and try to gentry guide it back on track.

Try to speak in positives. People will respond more positively in return when you use phrases and language that have a positive twist. Instead of saying you “hate” something, say that you “prefer” something else. Instead of using the words “I can’t,” try replacing them with the phrase “I choose to do this instead.” When you are clear about what you are saying, you will have more personal power and better communication skills.

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