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5 Ways To Communicate Effectively

Regina Devers

3 min read

Apr 19

23

0





Communication is the bridge between misunderstanding and comprehension. In this blog, I hope that these five elements that I share with you, present you with an opportunity to be an effective communicator. These components are - Active Listening, Sharing the Space, Paying Attention to Non-verbal Cues, Just To Clarify, and Stay Engaged. While this list is a small portion of what it takes to communicate, if you implement these you are absolutely on your way to a brighter future. To effectively communicate there must be a sender and receiver of information. I recall as a child playing telephone. In this game, someone would say a phrase and it would travel down a lineup of about 5-10 people. The object of the game was to see if the message that was said to the first person was the same message that the last person received. Now, it is time to dive into the five ways to communicate effectively.


Active Listening

Active listening is a learned behavior and skill. It requires a willingness and discipline to be attentive to the sender of information. To test the skill to see if you are listening to the individual providing the information try asking a question. Asking a question will determine how active you are or are not in the conversation or presentation. Can you imagine presenting information to a person or a crowd and the commentary has nothing to do with what has been delivered?


Sharing the Space

Space is defined as an area that is free, available, or unoccupied. Consider this when someone is speaking. It is always important to be heard, but even more important to hear. This is why this second component of communicating effectively is sharing the space. When the space is shared between the sender and receiver it allows an opportunity for all to be heard and eliminates (hopefully) tension, dismissiveness, disregard, and even misunderstanding. Consider the next time you want to "interject" in the conversation, especially during a venting moment a loved one may have.


Paying Attention to Non-verbal Cues

I recall sitting in a team meeting at work and my co-worker was asked if they had a question. I thought it was odd because I did not see their hand go up. What I did notice and most likely the manager was that the teammate had a puzzled look on their face. There was also another teammate who was more interested in what was going on outside of the meeting. Eye contact is a very important non-verbal indication of interest versus disinterest in a subject. Consider a small group that has the opportunity to meet the wealthy tycoon, Warren Buffet. In this scenario, Mr. Buffet is sharing how he became one of the most recognized names in the financial industry. During this intimate setting, one person kept yawning, another person was texting, and another just kept staring at the clock as if they had somewhere to be. As you can imagine Mr. Buffet is probably sensing that this audience is disinterested in what he is sharing and he would be correct. So as you continue the path to being an effective communicator consider your body language, whether being the sender or receiver.


Just To Clarify

Questions and answers - EVERYONE HAS THEM!!! You are either the consumer or the merchant at any point in your day. What this means is that you have the opportunity to listen or be heard. There is nothing like a misunderstanding to cause unnecessary confusion that could have been prevented. Have you ever heard, "There is no such thing as a dumb question, only the one that has not been asked."? Consider asking questions to clarify what is being delivered instead of assuming what is being said.


Stay Engaged

Lastly, staying engaged is probably one of the most important as it is a result of doing the other four mentioned elements in this blog. Staying engaged requires a submission to the interaction between you and the individual. At some point, you have to make up in your mind how you will stay engaged with the conversation, even when you may not be interested. Consider this the next time you experience a conversation that is not something you would typically engage in, "take the meat and throw away the bones". Being receptive does not always require you to in agreement, but to simply be teachable.


Regina Devers

3 min read

Apr 19

23

0

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