The effective communication Personal, in organizations and companies is very important to achieve goals and develop personal relationships, The more complex challenges of life, such as significant social relationships (mother / father-children, family, couple, work, etc.) or progress In your professional career require the correct handling of communication.
Whether oral or written, communication is not a simple matter. The good news is that the ability to communicate can be learned.
Following these guidelines, you will soon notice changes in acceptance, confidence and professional development.
10 Steps to Effective Communication
1-Do not take anything for granted
Many people, especially in the professional field, are convinced of their communicative superiority, holding Beliefs for example:
"I am a good communicator... it is everyone else who has the problem".
"My way of communicating is not the problem, it is the others who do not know how to listen."
To point out the mistakes of others as justification for our problems is the number one pastime of individualistic societies, distinction Proposed by the scientist Miller in 1984 1 .
This communicational effect of which I speak is an effect of attribution: interpretation or explanation that is made about the causes, reasons and reasons of Some event (including beliefs, attitudes and behaviors) either in others or in the individual who does it.
The scientist Kelley proposed that if humans act as scientists, we could only incur an attribution of this kind if in the concrete situation proposal 2
- Whenever we are with that person the same thing happens to us.
- That person has the same problem with more people.
However, due to cultural and learning reasons, we are not scientific or objective when we make attribution judgments.
Going back to the example, the simplest and fastest thing is to blame the other on a particular problem, why?
- Bias of confirmatory tendency: we fall into this attributional bias if we do not seek information that is beyond our personal perception Or whether we superimpose our judgment on those of others.
That is, if we act as humans instead of acting as scientists, we will probably assume that the fault lies with the other person, even if only the First observation proposed by Kelley is fulfilled.
The greatest enemy of learning and personal development is our way of thinking. If we consider that we are perfect and the others are bad Communicators, we will never consider what we can improve.
The truth is that we all have strengths and weaknesses in the different aspects of interpersonal communication. There is not a single person in the Planet that does not need to work to improve its communication since it is a work for life, we should never lower our guard.
2-Get to Know
Before deciding to make changes in the way you communicate you should know what your strengths are to try to keep them and learn from them or What are your weaknesses, which you must work.
Take some time to review the last communicative meetings you've had. Ask yourself questions and try to describe your communicative style. Some Questions that you could ask yourself in each communicative scene you remember are the following:
- How have I communicated (behaviors, attitudes, type of arguments used, etc.)?
- What were the consequences for having communicated to me in this way?
- What communicative tools of the used ones have been more positive and which more negative?
- What tools could you use in a generalized way?
- And, among the negatives, how could I avoid incurring them?
3-Maintain a global vision
Imagine that you are in a group context of work or study. Probably the most important thing for you and the group is the task. However, this is a Double-edged sword
When there is a task to perform, we tend to focus on it and to commit negligence in dealing with people. When so, try to keep An overview of what is happening.
Since most of the mistakes in the performance of a job are due to poor communication, try to be the group's objective voice. In addition, in Many times you will be involved in group discussions. If you have been an observer, you will be able to identify the cause of the conflict to solve it.
4-Listen before speaking
In close connection with the previous point we find this phenomenon. Surely you can identify several communication situations in your life In which you have found yourself defending your position and layer.
The more important we are to the subject in a conversation, the more we try to have our opinion taken into account.
This can lead us not to listen and monopolize the speech, or even to confront each other by the prevalence of our point of view.
However, on many occasions your point of view and that of others is not as opposite as it may seem at first.
Therefore, the best strategy to avoid finding ourselves in uncomfortable situations that make us remember the conversation as a failure, is to listen before To speak and try to provide short but highly informative arguments In an assertive way .
As the midpoint between passivity and aggressiveness In our communicational discourse, we find assertiveness. This term, although From Latin (affirmation of the certainty of a thing), was first described in detail by Wolpe and Lazarus in 1958.
Assertiveness consists in asserting and respecting us, saying what we think and expressing opinions without fear of reprisals, but always doing so with elegance and From a position of maximum respect.
What do I have to do to be assertive?
- Always tell the truth whether it is positive or negative for your interlocutor, without treating him with scorn or sending hurtful messages. The assertiveness Implies elegance and respect for others.
- Communicate your message in a clear, concise, fast and forceful way. Assertive communication does not mean hesitation. When it comes to Effective communication, less is always more.
- Talk about what you know, never base yourself on mere speculations or perceptions. Why? If your credibility as a source of information is seen Depleted, it is very likely that your interlocutor take advantage to"eat"with your arguments, entering a circle of communication Aggressive-defensive.
- Invite the dialogue, ask questions and ask for participation.
- Listen actively to your caller. The active listening Is a communicative dimension predominantly non verbal 3 . Your expression Facial and your confirmatory gestures will indicate to your interlocutor your opinion without needing to speak. This is a great way to save words And express yourself at the same time that you listen. In addition, you will encourage greater communicative motivation and interest in you as a person with whom to share points of view.
6-Have a positive attitude
Every communicative act between human beings contains these two components.
Attitudes are derived from our beliefs, feelings and intentions. The psychologist Allport defined them as mental and neurological dispositions that are organized to From the experience that exerts a direct or dynamic influence on the reactions of the individual to all objects and to all Situations that correspond to them.
If we analyze this definition, we see that in a communicative act our attitudes are as important as our behavior. In each exchange Communicative our attitudes will always be present contributing information to our interlocutor.
When I speak of attitudes, I mean both those we have for ourselves and those we take toward the other person, and both types of Attitudes are of the utmost importance
If your attitude towards yourself is negative (low regard for yourself), this will be reflected in the way you communicate by doing the task a lot more difficult.
In what way? A person who does not value himself and wants enough, will cause this same effect on his interlocutor and his credibility will be diminished.
On the contrary, if you keep Positive attitudes Toward yourself, you will quickly see that others will have a greater interest in hearing your opinion and Accept your arguments.
7-Adapt to your interlocutor
Everything communicates: you, your interlocutor, the subject, the moment, the place and the way.
Depending on what the conversation should be the context must be adapted. Thus, a working conversation is not the same as a conversation with friends Or family.
Anyway, the most important aspect is the person you communicate with. In this direction, Einstein said:"You do not understand something unless you are Able to explain it to your grandmother."
8-Empathy: What is my interlocutor thinking?
You probably ask this question very often when you have a conversation. If so, very well.
The empathy Is the ability to perceive another person's thoughts, feelings, emotions and intentions. The better you know a person, The better you can empathize with it, and the more you get used to interpreting what the other person might be feeling or thinking, your ability will be best.
If your interlocutor feels that you empathize with him, you will feel more interested and motivated by your conversation. This is why empathy is a powerful Communicative tool Being interested in others, you will get interest.
What can I do to show empathy in a conversation?
- Ask if your impressions are correct. During the conversation, try to guess what the other person might be thinking or Feeling. When you have an approximate idea, ask indirectly using expressions such as"It seems that.... Am I right?"Or"Me? Gives the impression that...". Based on the response you get, you will get keys to interpret the signals of that particular person.
- Pay attention to the look of your interlocutor: It is not in vain that the eyes are said to be the mirror of the soul. The look of a person will tell you How it feels.
- Emotional Reciprocity: If what you want is for the person you speak to express their emotions, you begin by doing the same. Is very It is likely that the other person will adapt to your level of expression.
Closely related to empathy is the concept of ethical communication. This refers to taking into account the welfare of the Person with whom you interact, demonstrating your sensitivity for your feelings and beliefs.
If a person feels understood, he will be more open to listen to you and to express to you what he really feels
9-Observation and active listening
When we communicate, all our senses can give us highly valuable information.
By tending to use the ear sense as a priority, we receive only 45% of the total information transmitted by our interlocutor: tone of Voice, volume, rhythm and content.
The other 55% of the communicative information can be perceived through the sense of sight 3 But for this we must train ourselves and Getting used to grasp these keys: expressions, gestures, position, breathing rhythm, distance, etc.
When we listen to our interlocutor, we must get used to doing it actively, that is, extracting the maximum information from the stimuli Captured: think, make associations and interpretations, etc. In addition, a good tool to motivate you by accompanying your speech is to make small Nods using words or gestures.
10-Eye with the communicative alterations
One of the best ways to learn to communicate effectively is to look for and remedy our mistakes. There are certain communicative alterations That are given with high frequency in all communicative exchange:
- Distortion : Is to interpret in a partial or subjective way the information transmitted by our interlocutor. When we listen, we must Position ourselves in the frame of reference of the person who speaks and try to isolate ours, based on our experiences and learnings. Each Person is a world.
- Omission : Since the human attention capacity is limited, we normally lose part of the information transmitted by our interlocutor. This can frustrate and discourage the person you are talking to. Try to modulate your attention to make sure you remember the information Important and filter the least relevant. In order to know what is important we must look at the non-verbal language of our interlocutor, who Will accentuate that with a greater emotional content.
- Generalization : This alteration, unlike the previous ones, refers to your communicative messages in response to those of your interlocutor. We tend to generalize a concrete situation to a"always, never, everything, nothing, etc". Try to avoid using these expressions by generalizing cases The person you are talking to. Why? This will cause a feeling of incomprehension in your It will translate into rejection and frustration towards you.
And what do you do to establish effective communication with others? Your experience will help us to have other opinions and readers. Thanks!
- Miller, J.G. (1984). Culture and the development of everyday social explanation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 961-978.
- Kelley, H.H. (1971). Attribution in social interaction. New York: General Learning Press.
- Mehrabian, Albert (1969):"
Some referents and measures of nonverbal behavior". Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation, 1, 203-207.
- Xlibris Corporation. (2008). Effective Communication Skills: The Foundations for Change.
- Chambers, H.E. (2001). Effective Communication Skills for Scientific and Technical Professionals. Basic Books.
- Image source 3.