We all try to effectively communicate, but sometimes we don’t realize where it goes wrong. Below are some simple things to keep an eye out for when trying to communicate. See if you gravitate towards doing any of them!
1) Judging the other person
If you find yourself being judgmental, try to monitor your thoughts. Most of the time we don’t realize when we are doing this! Aim to look for the positive, avoid stereotyping, stop judging yourself, and think about how it feels when someone judges you.
2) Not paying attention to the person you are talking to
You may get annoyed when you are talking to someone and they are constantly checking their phone or looking away during the conversation. This is something that will definitely be a barrier to effective communication. Make sure you are fully present and engaging with what the other person is saying.
3) Using lofty vocabulary
While there is nothing wrong with having an advanced vocabulary, it is good to be aware of what words you use. When someone gets stuck on a word they don’t understand, they tend to stop listening to try to figure it out. This can be a conversation dampener.
4) Giving unwanted advice
If someone does not directly ask for your advice, although tempting, try not to give it. When your friend doesn’t want your advice, it doesn’t mean they are ungrateful. People are often embarrassed when reminded of their mistakes and usually need to find solutions for themselves. When that happens, they may even come to you at that point and ask for advice!
5) Cutting off someone mid sentence
It is hard to continue to listen when you want to get your point across, but it can also prevent you from hearing the rest of what they have to say. We tend to hear the first few seconds and then begin thinking of what we want to say in response. Try letting them finish their thought and then process a response.
Having effective communication is not as hard as it sometimes seems! If you find yourself struggling with any of these areas, a talk therapist or social skills coach can help you develop effective communication skills! Click here to get started!