Monday, October 28, 2013

10 Tips for Avoiding Ineffective Communication


By M. J. Joachim

Effective communication begins with the intention of the person communicating, which ultimately ends up translated into an actual message for the receiver to interpret on their own. Responses and reactions to the meaning and interpreted meaning of the initial communication may vary. 
Expressions of intended communication are expressed through the written word, orally and with the help of body language. However the message gets conveyed, the person receiving it is responsible for actively listening to what is being said. This promotes healthy relationships, fostering essential needs for all parties involved. The following tips will help you avoid some common pitfalls of ineffective communication.

 1. Listen attentively

 2. Stay on topic

 3. Show genuine interest

 4. Refrain from being egocentric and judgmental
 5. Be a sounding board, not a problem solver or critic
 6. Stay focused and limit interjections
 7. Recognize and address your feelings at the appropriate time
 8. Develop a dialog, as opposed to a “telling it how it is” scenario
 9. Rephrase what is being said for clarity

10. Acknowledge, respect and appreciate communicator

Everyone communicates with others. Whether it is a child expressing needs and/or wants, a spouse expressing satisfaction or frustration, a boss/employee trying to fulfill expected obligations, a teacher trying to convey concern or praise etc., we all have a need to join the conversation. 

Conversation goes two ways, expecting necessary input from both parties involved. If one party shuts down or stands too tall, both parties eventually lose. Ineffective communication is often the source of this, and it usually has nothing to do with what is actually being communicated. 

Do you consider yourself to be an effective communicator? What areas do you need to improve on, to make your communication more effective? How have your communication skills helped or hindered you in your relationships?

Learning effective communication is a lifelong process. It takes time, energy and willingness. Transferring our intended message into our actual message isn’t always easy. When in doubt, don’t let it out. Assess the situation and carefully negotiate your words, especially if you’re angry or upset. 

Thank you for visiting Effectively Human. I’ll look forward to seeing you again real soon. 

M. J. 

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Photo credit: Conversation in Park, Louvre Museum, PD-US Art