Today, communication is becoming easier thanks to technology, which makes it faster and more accessible. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean that we know how to communicate effectively.
Face-to-face communication has become something almost exotic, because we communicate more and more through social media or instant communication apps. We communicate telegraphically, superficially with a lot of people, but we often miss efficient, meaningful communication. Studies have shown that communication deficiencies can generate certain psychological disorders, according to elpais.com.
What exactly is effective communication?
When certain events in our lives remain in a closed circuit inside our minds, without the possibility of sharing them with those around us through efficient communication, emotions are amplified and the facts of the events acquire an unreal and distorted dimension.
Avoiding these problems is not the only reason we should learn to communicate better. Effective communication is the bedrock of quality relationships and contributes considerably to our emotional and physical health. However, this is a double-edged sword: while good communication can be extremely beneficial, deficient communication may turn against us.
Psychologist Carl Rogers says that “the biggest obstacle standing in the way of a good conversation is the human being’s incapacity to listen to the other intelligently, with mastery and understanding.”
Tips for effective communication
1. Do not expect everyone to agree with you. Even if you are right, even if you know that the other person is wrong, don’t waste your energy trying to convince them, because you are unlikely to succeed.
2. Do not interrupt others, anticipating what they want to say or what you believe they would like to say. The best communicators are those who know how to listen.
3. Do not show you are tired or bored. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by something else. Aside from the fact that it’s rude, it’s like saying “get it over with” or “I’m not interested.”
4. Humility is the key ingredient. Even if you are more knowledgeable or more educated, this should remain unknown because it resembles boasting. One should be able to prove this.
It takes two to communicate effectively
5. Do not talk about yourself unless you are asked to. Do not talk about things in your life without being asked. Let others show real interest in you and what is happening to you. Do not put your qualities and strengths on display, but let others read them in you.
6. A little goes a long way. A long conversation is not necessarily a good one. A proverb says that what is little and good is twice as good. Focus on quality not quantity and you will thus avoid boredom and monotony.
7. Spare the advice. Do not offer unsolicited advice and suggestions.
8. Avoid excessive praise. This generates questions and mistrust.
9. Do not make declarations all the time. True pronouncements can be proven and verified. It turns out, however, that most of the declarations we make actually hide opinions. Therefore, do not forget to let your opinions be accompanied by expressions such as: “In my opinion…”, “I believe…”, “It seems to me that…”, psychologytoday.com advises.
10. Ask. It’s the best way to find out what the other person really thinks and to prove your interest in them. Questions also prove that you want to have a conversation, a dialogue, and not give a speech or monologue.
Truman Capote said that “there are few good conversations: due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.” Efficient communication is like a dance, where the ideas of the two come close, then move away, come close again and intertwine in an elegant and harmonious movement.