5 STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS

IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE

Put the phone down because it’s time to learn how to effectively communicate.

Are you ready?

If not, buckle up because communication skills are crucial for successful relationships ( personal or work ).

THE TRUTH ABOUT COMMUNICATION

Communication can be uncomfortable. Whether it’s standing up to your boss, talking about something that is bothering you to a friend or even facing rejection.

Communication can also be a game changer that helps us to get further in life, in our career and relationships. This can of course lead to less stress, anxiety and improve our mental health + productivity.

Are you about that? Because I am!

I recently did a post on how to be a better communicator, but today we are getting super specific. Talking about the STEPS you can take if you are looking to start making improvements.

Don’t forget, communication is a skill.

Just like any other skill. It takes time, practice and patience. Even for those generations older than millennials who aren’t strictly communicating over text!

Communication can be a real bitch, but here are 5 practical steps to help you begin to improve!

5 STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION

STEP ONE

Understand nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication is simply how you are perceived. It’s all about body language! This means begin by working on your physical cues.

Sometimes we aren't aware of the fact that we might be slouching, not making eye contact or our physical gestures.

This can be practiced at home or with friends. It can be applied in the real world. Mindfulness plays a huge role in this tactic. Become mindful of your posture, open up your chest, keep you head held high, maintain eye contact and ( if in the right situation ) you can move around a bit.

STEP TWO

Become a good listener

In order to communicate a meaningful response, you need to hear what the other person or audience has to say. Listen to them. Do not interrupt. You don’t even need to nod your head. Just sit back, let the other person talk. THEN engage.

We aren’t always the best of listeners. We speak over people, we cut them off and we don’t give them a solid chance to finish what they have to say.

Maybe we are consumed by our own thoughts?

Regardless, give them the time to get out everything that they have to say, acknowledge it and then reply.

STEP THREE

Think before you speak

It’s 100% ok to take a pause before you reply to what someone has said. We should take a moment to reflect on what was communicated to us and THEN decide how we want to respond. While this can be super easy over text, in person, it’s a bit more difficult, but not as difficult as you think.

Depending on the context of the conversation ( conversation about a raise with your boss, confronting a friend about an issue, talking about ways to improve your daily routine with a therapist, etc… ), taking that pause can avoid impulsive reactions and can help you to best get your point across.

STEP FOUR

Respect the response

Not everyone is going to agree with you and that is ok. Learning to understand that concept can drastically change the direction of your communication.

  1. It may lead to something that you weren’t expecting such as a breakup.

  2. It may also lead to something positive such as a new idea for your brand that you had never even considered! Perspective is something to consider here.

After you listen, get your point across, are heard and receive a response BACK, respect it.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and recognize that the conversation isn’t always just about you. It’s ALSO about the other person or people involved as well. Take in their thoughts, feelings and ideas.

We all have a unique perspective and the freedom of speech, so pay attention to what they have to say because this will help you to form a better dialect.

STEP FIVE

Stop worrying

The truth is that people are just as worried about you judging them as you are about them judging you!

That’s why most of us are fearful of it in the first place right?

We are afraid of what other people will think. Will they think that what we just said was stupid? Wrong? Irrelevant? In a strange way, we become self absorbed and are too busy thinking about ourselves, what we said, if we said the right thing and so on to care.

Your response MATTERS. Other people HEAR your response. But, internally, we tend to magnify what is happening outside of us, so this should give you a sense of relief when communicating!


THE TAKEAWAY

It’s usually the simple things and the little habits that add up to the big picture. Start by keeping this list of 5 steps handy next time you need to communicate.

NOW WHAT?

You can practice this with family, friends and start working on becoming self aware.

  1. You might not always receive the response you want.

  2. You might not always respond in the way you were expecting.

That’s ok.

Cut yourself some slack and move forward. Take each experience as a learning lesson and keep practicing.

What has helped you to become a better communicator? Share in the comments!

SHARE THIS WITH SOMEONE WHO MIGHT BENEFIT!

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XO,

Sydney

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