Better Communication is something we can all use. It seems the days of the handwritten note are gone and communication is becoming even more impersonal. Text me. Email me. IM me. How can we get better at communication? Below are three suggestions for better communication.
Better communication starts with active listening. Stop playing with your phone while you're having a conversation and listen to what's being said. Ask pertinent questions that build upon the conversation. Be interested in what's being discussed. Actively listening increases your engagement in the conversation and helps create better communication.
It's easy to talk on the phone or send a message, but if you have the ability to communicate in person, you're able to see the person's mannerisms and how they're responding to you via non-verbal cues. When conducting business, interviewing, or meeting someone for the first time, it's better to have that in person conversation in person. Now with the advances in virtual communications such as video conferencing and Facetime, you don't necessarily have to be there in person. Having a presence in the room either physically or virtually helps with communication. The written word is very impersonal and it's hard to understand what's being conveyed without including the visual cues.
Think, Consider, then Respond – TCR
With the patience of a lot of people wearing thin and many of having really short attention spans, it's easy for us to quickly respond to a question that's posed without fully thinking about the repercussions of the answer. When having a conversation, you need to actively listen to what's being said and carefully consider what's being discussed. Once you've taken a few extra seconds to formulate an opinion or a solution to an issue, it will make things a little smoother when communicating. If you need to take a few minutes to answer it's perfectly acceptable to say that you need to think about the idea for a few minutes and that you'll get back to them with an answer.
Better Communication starts with you. Be an active listener. Try and have in-person conversation whenever possible. And be sure to TCR when having a conversation.