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I wish communication didn’t have so many layers, but it really does! It would be great if it were simply as easy as you talk, you talk and everything is good to go. However, I think we all know that it’s never that simple and to make it that simple often gets you in trouble. So, save yourself any unnecessary trouble and learn solid communication tips to help you out.

Face to Face Communication

We all know that communicating any other way can bring about a lot of misunderstandings. Face to face communication is so much easier because things can be explained more clearly. Facial expressions and tone make the communication even more well-rounded. Just make sure the communication happens at a time and in an environment that is conducive to a healthy and undistracted environment.

Non-verbal Communication

Your non-verbal communication will say a ton in regards to your level of comfort, attention and engagement in the conversation. Indiscreet non-verbal communication can likewise undermine the message that you were endeavoring to pass on.  For instance, in the event that you talk in a way that someone can receive but your arms are crossed in front of your chest, this could be read with various negative connotation. Your audience may think you are being protective, defensive or impartial and it could prompt them to act in the same manner.

If your nonverbal communication is not lining up with your words it can cause suspicion or disengagement. The more you can have those two things in alignment the more the receiver will be able to connect with you and trust you.

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Be natural. Even if the conversation at hand is a little difficult, choose to set the tone by being natural. A more loose and common body position with your arms hanging freely at your sides is a significantly more inviting stance when communicating with others. It naturally feels more open and inviting to others over having your arms crossed or having your hands on your hip!

When talking, do whatever it takes not to fiddle. Practice stillness. Keep up eye to eye connection. In the event that you are in a group meeting, check out the room. See how people are responding and if they are truly engaged. Try not to pace too much, as that can be seen as nervous energy. When tuning in, gesture your head. Listen carefully. Try not to attempt to interrupt. Hold on until you sense the other person has completed all thoughts. At that point, rehash what you comprehend to be the gist of the conversation, to make sure you have understood everything accurately.

Quiet Observation

This might be the hardest part for some. This step is to see what you can hear or see without faulting, judging or assessing. Talking before fully understanding what is said can bring about frustration. Listening without judgement is hard, but in the end you will find it to be more beneficial for the health of the relationship.

Properly Express Feelings

What you feel should be communicated, but not in a way that is out of control or disrespectful. Sometimes when you communicate your feelings in an emotional sense it can move into accusations and blame games.

If you are feeling extra emotional about something try writing a letter and verbalizing it there without any filters. Let some time pass, like an hour or two. Try writing another to vent all steam. Then practice sharing your feelings to a friend and see if you can do it sensibly.

If you can, you’re probably ready to express your feelings in a fair way!

Making Needs Known

Expressing emotion is not the complete package of communication! The next part of successful correspondence is communicating your needs. Most people cannot read your minds. You have to tell people what you need. If you don’t share your needs they may never be met. If you share, there is a much greater chance that they will!

This all looks great on “paper”, but the rubber meets the road when the opportunity to practice shows up. It can really feel overwhelming to try to remember all the communication tips discussed here. What I would encourage you to do is take one or two tips that resonated most with you and put them to practice immediately!

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