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What is Effective Communication?

Updated on July 5, 2019
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Skills of Effective Communicaton

For communication to be effective it requires an individual to be attentive, to listen carefully, attempt to hear the other person’s point of view, respond appropriately, and sometimes admit they are wrong. These are just a few of the important listening skills. Good communication skills can be learned.

Webster’s Dictionary definition of communication:

  1. “An act or instance of transmitting
  2. Information transmitted or conveyed
  3. A verbal or written message
  4. A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or communication; also the exchange of information.”

These definitions are fine, but they don’t tell us very much about effective communication. It is worth our time to learn how to communicate more effectively and perhaps more importantly, learn how to be an active listener. Epictetus stated, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

Healthy Communication

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What is Business Communication?

Communicating effectively is essential in business. Business communication skills can make the difference between being successful and being a failure. Poor communication in business has been proven to reduce or weaken productivity, which may lead to anger or lack of trust of the company, manager or employee.

Good communication in business means being able to initiate relationships, build and maintain strong relationships. Having a basic understanding of human behavior and learning to listen carefully are also essential components to building strong business relationships.

If you are a business owner good communication can be the difference between sealing a deal or losing an important opportunity. Clearly explaining policies to clients or employees is essential. Good communication strengthens the relationship between you and your employees. In addition, it builds an effective team that is more cohesive,

Sometimes it is the little things that are so important. Using proper speech, leaving slang terms at home make a better impression. Listening attentively and not interrupting is very important. Sometimes, you must bite your tongue when you may not agree with your boss or with a client. Be diplomatic and success will be your reward.

How To Improve Communication Skills - 7 Unique Tips!

Skills of Communication

For personal relationships to be healthy and grow, good communication is essential. Several components are very important, which include trust; active listening and being open-minded, which means giving the other person a chance to explain without quickly becoming angry or defensive. Stay involved in the relationship,

Direct, honest communication is the key to any healthy relationship. Have those difficult conversations to resolve problems when the need arises. Ignoring problems is like the elephant in the living room, while the couple pretends everything is normal. Stuffing emotions is unhealthy, and sometimes a mouse becomes a mountain, due to the dwelling but not resolving a problem. Trust is the basis in every good relationship with a lover or a good friend.

Maintain friendships with other people as well. One person cannot fulfill all of your needs and friendships fill in those gaps where your interest in something may be different from that of your mates.

Tips to Improve Communication

There are different types of communication such as verbal, written, and body language and each one is important.

  • Maintain eye contact throughout the conversation, which matches the advice in the preceding paragraph. Eye contact is absolutely one of the most important components because it lets the other person know you are involved and listening.
  • Be aware of your body language. Sit in a relaxed fashion without your arms crossed in front of you. The look on your face should match your words. Building rapport is easier if you also mirror the other person’s body language.
  • Ask questions if you have any doubt as to what the other person is trying to convey. Don’t make assumptions. If you are clear on what is being conveyed to you, then you can respond appropriately.
  • Own your words. Use words like “I”, “me” and also, own up to mistakes. The way to build trust is to be completely honest, and if you’ve made a mistake own up to it and apologize.
  • Respond, but don’t react. If you react with anger the other person will immediately put up their defenses. The chances of resolving any problem diminish dramatically when one person gets angry. Often this shuts down communication completely. Remember once something is said, you can’t un-ring the bell. The damage is done, despite any apology.
  • Never Interrupt If you interrupt a person you are telling them that you know better and that what they are saying is not important to you. Try to let an individual finish what they are saying, even when you do not agree, It is not polite to interrupt and some people will be very offended.

The Undisputed Truth "Smiling Faces Sometimes" (1971)

In Conclusion

Effective communication is not that difficult if you use intellect over emotion. Practice the tips listed above, and you will be surprised how they can improve a relationship.

Often we fall into patterns of expecting the worst and reacting before we even know the whole story. Trust is something that is earned, so honesty is essential in any communication. Talking to each other will strengthen your relationship, so it is certainly worthwhile to make the effort.

Communication

Do you think your communication with your partner is effective and healthy?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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