Coleen Marie B. Sanoria
Effective communication helps us better understand a person or situation and enables us to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create environments where creative ideas, problem solving, affection, and caring can flourish. As simple as communication seems, much of what we try to communicate to others—and what others try to communicate to us—gets misunderstood, which can cause conflict and frustration in personal and professional relationships. By learning these effective communication skills, you can better connect with your spouse, kids, friends, and coworkers.
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Listening is one of the most important aspects of effective communication. Successful listening means not just understanding the words or the information being communicated, but also understanding how the speaker feels about what they’re communicating.
Effective listening can make the speaker feel heard and understood, which can help build a stronger, deeper connection between you; it can create an environment where everyone feels safe to express ideas, opinions, and feelings, or plan and problem solve in creative ways; it can ave time by helping clarify information, avoid conflicts and misunderstandings; it can relieve negative emotions. When emotions are running high, if the speaker feels that he or she has been truly heard, it can help to calm them down, relieve negative feelings, and allow for real understanding or problem solving to begin. If your goal is to fully understand and connect with the other person, listening effectively will often come naturally. If it doesn’t, you can remember the following tips. The more you practice them, the more satisfying and rewarding your interactions with others will become.
Focus fully on the speaker, his or her body language, and other nonverbal cues. If you’re daydreaming, checking text messages, or doodling, you’re almost certain to miss nonverbal cues in the conversation. If you find it hard to concentrate on some speakers, try repeating their words over in your head—it’ll reinforce their message and help you stay focused.
Avoid interrupting or trying to redirect the conversation to your concerns, by saying something like, “If you think that’s bad, let me tell you what happened to me.” Listening is not the same as waiting for your turn to talk. You can’t concentrate on what someone’s saying if...