Good communication isn’t nearly as hard as it’s made out to be. It’s simple, really. And, if we look at things with our psychological glasses on, there are ways that we can make communication even better than we have before.
- Be empathetic and connect on a human level.
- Don’t be afraid of silence.
- Ask questions and be courageous.
- Give everyone a chance to be heard and understood.
Psychology Doesn’t Lie When It Comes To Communication
As humans, we are all hardwired the same. Generally speaking, we all want to be acknowledged, understood, and appreciated. When it comes right down to it, those three desires make up the bulk of empathy so when we learn to use attentive listening and empathy as a tool, we can unlock new depths of communication.
Use Their Name
The moment you meet someone, be sure to ask their name. Take it one step further and ask if there is any other name they prefer to go by. Use their name while looking them in the eye before the conversation ends. A good tip for making eye contact with someone is to do it long enough to be aware of what eye color they have. This amount of connection projects warmth and sincerity and makes others more comfortable to open the lines of communication.
Let’s face it – we all love to talk about ourselves. It’s human nature! Ask people questions about themselves to show that you are genuinely interested to hear about what makes them tick. Of course, don’t cross the line and become too personal, but general questions about them and their life’s path will let them know that you sincerely care about them and want to connect on a human level.
Use Silence As A Tool
Silence is one of the greatest tools to use when communicating with others. We don’t have to be constantly talking to have meaningful conversation. When someone says something that you perceive as hurtful, or if they appear to be sorting through their own thoughts, remain silent. When you choose silence over speaking, it typically prompts the other person to eventually continue the conversation. This means they can either think about what they just said and the way it affected you or they’ll feel like you are giving them your undivided attention, depending upon the situation. It may feel a bit awkward at first, but give silence a shot.
Be Courageous, Not Stressed
Stress and courage provoke similar physiological responses within our bodies. If you’re giving a presentation, interviewing for a promotion, or meeting with a client, your heart may race and your head can feel like it’s spinning. Learn to reframe your stress and tell yourself that what you are about to do is courageous and brave. This will totally transform your mindset and provide you with more relaxed and natural communication.
Deliver Your Thoughts, Not Your Opinion
Strong opinions without any justification can immediately shut people off and allow them to form an opinion of you without even knowing the whole truth. Rather immediately stating your opinion, deliver your thoughts on the subject. For example, saying, “I think purple is a very relaxing color,” evokes a different emotion in the listener than saying, “Purple is the best color.” Now, sure, our favorite colors aren’t an incredibly controversial topic, but you get the idea. Backing up your feelings and opinions with valid thoughts gives much more credibility to your statement and also opens the doors for healthy communication.
Remember The Golden Rule
When it comes down to it, communication is simple. You want to be valued, heard, and understood and so does everybody else. Treat others how you want to be treated and effective communication will come naturally.