Sure, you know how to communicate. We all reach a point in life where we can put words into sentences to speak our mind. But is that effective communication?
Of course it is if you are six :).
You might as well sit and think about how that six-year-old has better communication skills than you do. Now, why is that? Because that tiny little creature, that reaches up to your waste in height and experience, just got what it wanted. And that concludes the definition of effective communication.
Once you reach the point of your maturity, it is no longer acceptable for you to take communication lessons from a kid, let along act like one. But still, you have the same goal. To get what you want.
In order to get what you want, you have to give people what they want. It is a fair trade, don’t you think?
So here’s the math:
ACTIVE LISTENING + QUALITY RESPONSE = EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
Between our ears stands a huge potential that can be used to collaborate with those same ears. The worst thing you can do is not just refusing to listen; it is listening with a narrowed mind and diminished collocutors point. Missing out on this point leads mostly towards frustration or running in communication circles, without any conclusion and act-upon.
Very few people will have the time to explain themselves in a way you will be interested, and you will lose them right there. For a simple example of active listening, you can just imagine when you meet someone new, casually related, and get to introduce yourself. How much attention does your brain give for your introduction, and how much attention does it take to memorize the name of the person you’ve just met? Chances are you will have no memory of how that person introduced herself, but you will be extremely concentrated on the impression you give. If you are introduced to a communication expert, and that was the elimination exam, you would definitely flunk.
So, active listening is primary step towards good communication skills, so get your brain running and give credit to your ears. Paying attention is hearing something that has not been spoken.
There is no good response if you don’t know who you are replying to. You should probably keep your mouth shut if you don’t know how to listen. I have mentioned earlier you have to give people what they want, and the first thing they want is the proof that, in fact, you have been listening. So make sure that when you respond, you respond in the order your received the information, confirming that you were actively listening and processing the information. After that, you can speak your mind.
If you were in fact listening, then you should switch your common verbalization towards collocutors, trying to be as close as possible. That will get you just where you want to be, for the collocutor will be able to understand you (let’s not assume that the collocutor is a good listener, assumptions are a bad choice here and whenever), and actively listen.
I am not saying that you should be someone else rather then you, I am suggesting that you are, in fact, so many varieties of you. You cannot speak with our six-year-old from the beginning of this article in the same manner you would conduct the conversation with your boss or your spouse. I can easily compare this, and give you an argument, that you are your true self regardless of the way you form your sentences and carefully choosing words to put in those same sentences, with the simple example: 1200 million of people in the world speak in one form of Chinese language. If you are not one of them, you cannot effectively communicate. For that, you would have to learn Chinese. I would suggest Mandarin, for with that you will cover about 850 million of people you can talk to. All jokes aside, I hope you get my point. All of us have our own mind-settled language, and the ones who understand our personal language are the ones gaining our trust and interest in everyday life as in business.
The ones who adapt the best are the ones that get the best. So use your multilingual mind and practice communication like you would any skill. And don’t forget, it is a process and skill you will, in fact, be learning your entire life. It will eventually get you to what you want. And I know that we all want to communicate with each other effectively.
Josipa is a natural born entrepreneur. She started her first company and brand at age of 24. She has masters in engineering and neuro-linguistic, and has helped many startups to reach their goals and make their ideas live. She is a successful copywriter and social media manager, and enjoys writing and inspiring people on many levels.
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