How to improve your communication with others?
One of the most important things for understanding each other, be it in the office, in your relationship (read our post about healthy relationship) or with your friends and family is having good communication skills.
Having good communication is a result of active listening. If you are a bad listener you wouldn’t have a good communication with the people around you and your relationships with them will constantly struggle.
A good thing is you can improve your communication by following a few simple steps that people with good communication skills do.
Here are 8 important things that good listeners do.
Remember, just knowing them won’t help you achieve better communication skills. If you really want to improve your communication with others, you must start practicing them and then using them so they will become a habit.
If you missed our post on how to improve your communication skills in your relationship, you can read it here.
Improve your communication by reading these examples:
1. They are active listeners.
We already mentioned that good communication depends on active listening. The good listeners are active listeners. They don’t allow other things to take away their attention (for example: their mobile phone, TV, or other people) while they are talking with someone.
They put everything down and focus on the person in front of them, so the other person knows that they have an interest in what they have to say.
While someone else is talking, the good listeners don’t interrupt, talking over them or finish their sentences for them.
They wait and watch for nonverbal communication, like gestures, facial expressions and eye – movements. The good listeners don’t just listen with their ears, but also with their eyes.
They watch and pick up the additional information being transmitted via non-verbal communication.
2. They show empathy.
The good listeners empathize with the person they are speaking with. They try to put themselves in the other person’s shoes. That helps them to see the situation from the perspective of the person who is talking with them.
3. They encourage the speaker with their body language.
They are nodding with their head, looking straight into the other person eyes and turn their body toward the speaker. They don’t cross their arms because it is a sign that you are being reserved and closed. When you are talking to someone who has an open body language you feel more comfortable around them and would be encouraged to engage in a conversation again.
4. They ask appropriate follow-up questions.
Silence is awkward. Don’t let it in. People with good communication skills ask follow-up questions to draw out more information and be engaged in the conversation.
5. They don’t say things like:
“It’s not the end of the world” or “You will feel better tomorrow”. They instead try to talk things and understand the situation.
6. They validate other people’s feelings.
They say things like: “That sounds like a really hard situation” or “It’s normal to feel like…”. By saying that they show that they have understood you and what you are saying makes sense.
7. The good listeners don’t try to help immediately.
They first focus on absorbing everything what the other person is saying to them and only after do they try to help.
8. They try to create a safe and pleasant atmosphere
People with good communication skills often create a pleasant atmosphere where the other person will feel encouraged to speak with them.