In today’s society it has never been easier to communicate with such a broad range of people from all over the world. Never before has the human race been exposed to the opportunities it has today. Social media sties, blogging, sharing pf photographs, videos and words are over whelming. People have a voice, and we want everyone to hear what we have to say!
There is a problem, however. Communication is only effective if the parties involved are interpreting the media used in the same way! Inuit cultures (Eskimos) have a large number of words for “snow”, whereas in Britain we have one. This is because their culture have adapted to live in a climate where knowing, describing and communicating exactly what kind of snow you are dealing with is extremely important! One person may interpret a having a tropical fish tank as being geeky, where as someone else may find it extremely relaxing. When we communicate we are usually coming from a place within our own understanding and internal perception. If the person we are communicating with does not have the same understanding, perception or interpretation of what we are communicating then we can find ourselves in a rather frustrating position!
What happens if the person you are trying to communicate with does not want to actually know what you have to say? Too many people are wrapped up with the self talk inside their heads that they are not really listening to what other people are saying.
So how do you improve your communication with someone? Follow the simple steps below and see what happens:
- Keep it simple and stick to your main points.
- Listen actively to what the other person is saying; try not to get wrapped up in your own internal dialogue and try to not think of a response. In doing this you ensure that you understand the other person’s perspective.
- Make eye contact, it demonstrates that you are interested in the other person’s reaction to what you are saying /you are listening to what they are saying.
- Summarise to demonstrate your understanding. Repeat what you understand the main points are of what the other person has said.
- Present your view, opinion, argument etc. based on any of the main points you have disagreed on or fill in the gaps in the other persons understanding.
- Ensure that the words you are using mean the same to the other person as you. For example, disappointed to one person could mean upset or let down, whereas to someone else they could feel devastated.
- Keep checking the other persons understanding of what you are expressing.
- Don’t use personal terms or identification phrases which the other person may not understand, such as my niece in the photograph. If I do not know your family, I would not know who your niece was.
- Be aware of your body language, for example having your arms folded across your chest could be seen as defensive.
- Try and communicate face to face if there is any tension. It is easy to blast any angry e-mail or text to someone but when you are in front of that person your reactions may be different.
Just for fun and to prove that actions speak louder than words……what is the little chap below trying to say to you?