Clear communication does not come easily to most of us. In order to communicate clearly and effectively with other people, we need to take several steps that essentially put our own needs aside for a while, so that we can truly listen to other people, understand them, and show them we respect and value their point of view.
When we show other people respect, they are more likely to respect us too, which means they will be more likely to buy something from us, or to agree to incorporate our own values into their decisions.
Achieving clear communication is one of the best ways to deal with difficult people and to avoid difficult relationships.
The following are five useful tips for achieving clear communication:
1. Remove Your Filter When communicating with someone else, practice the art of active listening. Make an effort to step outside of yourself and really listen to the other person. You should concentrate with singular focus on what the other person is saying and avoid thinking about what you are going to say next.
2. Identify and Mimic the Other Person’s Behavioral Style When we work hard to communicate with a person, be it our boss, a coworker, our spouse or our in-laws, the more we can recognize the other person’s behavioral style [link to post] and match our behavior to them, the more likely that person will be to understand us and cooperate with us.
3. Identify and Accept the Other Person’s Values It’s freeing and empowering to recognize that there’s a values mismatch with another person, and to drop our need to be “right” and show them that they are wrong. Learning to identify the values of others and respect them will help us incorporate other people’s values into our decisions without giving up on our own values. This will make it much easier for other people to respect our own values, making communication much more effective.
4. Drop Your Assumptions When we communicate with others, we tend to make assumptions about what they mean, how they feel, and what they already know. But those assumptions are often wrong and can lead to communication problems. To become better communicators, we must commit to never assume again that someone else will understand what we mean. When we want to get something across, we must take the time to help the other person understand what we mean.
5. Accept Yourself, Accept Others To communicate clearly with others, we must first accept them and stop trying to change them. But before we can accept others, we need to accept ourselves and recognize that we are okay. If we don’t feel bad about ourselves, we don’t need to “fix” others and put others down in order to feel better about ourselves.