10 rules of effective communication

Effective communication is more than just sharing information. It's about understanding the emotions and intentions behind words. In addition to conveying a message clearly, you need to be able to listen in a way that grasps the full meaning of what is being said and makes the other person feel that they are being heard and understood.

This is easier said than done. Each of us has a worldview that has been influenced by a lot: upbringing, personal experience, and the environment. Also, we transmit the message knowing our motives and desires, while the recipients do not have that luxury. This leads to ineffective communication.

Ineffective communication is bickering with others, dividing interlocutors into winners and losers. Disagreements and conflicts are the most precise indicators that we are dealing with her.

10 rules of effective communication

Effective communication aims to establish and preserve interconnection, support, and working relationships mutually beneficial and lasting. How can this be achieved? Nobody will give a 100% guarantee; however, if you follow specific rules, apply some techniques and techniques, you can improve your ability to find an approach to people and convey your thoughts clearly and quickly.

Let's start with the rules.

The 10 rules of effective communication

So that after the dialogue, both have a pleasant feeling of mutual understanding, adhere to the following rules.

1. Listen first

Active listening involves asking questions and the concentrated effort it takes to understand your partner's answers - and at the same time refuse to evaluate them. When you listen to others regularly and skillfully, you keep in touch with their reality. You will quickly learn about the interlocutor's achievements and problems and how he copes with the ups and downs. Plus, you show that what's important to him is essential to you as well.

As a result, your opinion has more weight because it is based on reality - the interlocutor's reality.

2. Show empathy

When others tell you their story, try to understand their thought process and see the world from their perspective. Empathy is more than just listening carefully. This ability is also to understand the meaning of words and the motives, emotions, and thoughts of another person. Of course, it is not easy. But the conscious effort is better than pondering your answer while the other person is speaking.

3. Focus on the positive

Living in negativity is a surefire way to turn your interlocutor away from yourself. He will not listen to you with a full breath because your appearance in his life will be associated with complaints, lamentations, and pessimism. So focus on the positive. Find common ground, even if you disagree. Try to please the interlocutor with your mood, even if the situation does not favor it.

4. Be sincere 

When praising someone, you don't need to flatter their superficial qualities. Be sincere.

When criticizing or giving feedback, do not dwell on one negative; remember that you, above all, want to help. If necessary, apologize.

5. Be specific

People have not yet learned to read minds. So don't just tell others how you value them or what worries you. Tell them how to fix the situation.

If you do not like something in the interlocutor, be specific about what it is and offer a way out.

6. Respect the interlocutor

You gain respect when you show it to others. You can recognize people and show respect in very simple and uncomplicated ways:

  • nod your head;
  • smile;
  • just say hello.

Avoid sarcasm and harsh remarks that trigger negative emotional reactions. Talk to others the way you want them to talk to you.

7. Pause

A pause in our case is just to stop and think before you start talking. You cannot learn anything new with automatism, and you are probably reading this article to learn something new and instill in yourself a useful skill.

8. Be honest

How do you feel when a thought-sensation appears: "He (she) is hiding something from me?" Honesty doesn't mean that you have to share everything with everyone.

Honesty is the ability to maintain transparency during dialogue. If you're talking about a topic, don't wag.

9. Know when to give in

Many people cannot help but start attacking any opinion that has been expressed to them - and they often regret it.

Remember that people are emotionally attached to their beliefs. If you ruthlessly expose every flaw in your partner's reasoning, then even if you are right, he will feel hurt.

This does not mean that you have to agree with the wrong opinion. Rather, it is about learning to choose which battles to take part in.

10. Be consistent

Communication should be like a steady stream, not walking on hot coals or an ocean storm.

Read this: Six styles of emotional leadership

What gets in the way of effective communication?

Anything that prevents us from understanding the interlocutor or getting our message across is called a barrier in the field of communications.

There are several dozen of them, but we will highlight the main ones. Some are wholly and completely dependent on you, others only partially. If you manage to avoid them, the effectiveness of communication will increase:

  • Stress and Out of Control Emotions: When you are stressed or emotionally overwhelmed, you are more likely to "read" other people incorrectly, send confused or discouraging non-verbal cues, and start acting out of place.
  • Lack of focus: You cannot communicate effectively if you are multitasking. If you're checking your phone, planning what you're going to say next, or daydreaming, you will almost certainly miss the non-verbal cues in the conversation, or even most of it. Avoid distractions; concentrate.
  • Inappropriate body language: Non-verbal communication should reinforce what is being said, not contradict what is being said. If you say one thing and your body language says another, the listener is likely to feel hypocrisy.
  • Negative body language: If you disagree with what is being said, you often use negative body language to respond to the other person's message, such as crossing your arms, avoiding eye contact, or tapping your fingers. Avoid negative signals, and remember that you don't have to agree or be insincere.
  • Inappropriate physical environment: Noisy cafes or bars are extremely difficult to understand. If you want to have a beneficial dialogue, choose quieter places.
  • Antipathy for other people's thoughts: We humans are often prejudiced. This is worth understanding to analyze how and why the interlocutor's words in a certain way affect our thoughts and emotions.

As you can see, we can remove many of these barriers. The problem is that this requires a conscious desire and long-term work on oneself. But if you want to be successful in life, you can't do without developing effective communication skills.

Effective communication technologies

Conventionally, effective communication technologies can be divided into two groups:

  • Technologies of persuasion (rational sphere): This uses logic and reasoning. It is assumed that the interlocutor, and you, have a high level of logical and critical thinking. Take these courses to become more convincing.
  • Suggestion technologies: based on an appeal to the unconscious, to human emotions by verbal means. Since they are often manipulative, we will not cover them in this article.

There are four main methods of argumentation:

  1. The method of stimulating: the imagination involves posing many questions on the content of the problems that should be considered at the beginning of the conversation.
  2. The "clue" technique allows you to outline the situation briefly and, linking it with the content of the conversation, use it as a starting point for discussing the problem.
  3. Taking a straightforward approach involves going straight to the point without any introduction or preamble.
  4. Receiving tension relief requires establishing emotional contact with the interlocutor. For example, a well-timed joke can help with this.

We have already touched on some of the techniques and skills of effective communication in the article because they are inextricably linked with rules, barriers, and technologies. Let's summarize them and add the ones we haven't talked about yet.

Try to communicate with all people in the same way: you should not be patronizing someone who is lower in rank, younger, or anything else. This person is, first of all, your communication partner.

Don't complain: This can only be done in exceptional cases. Remember that "people forget what you told them, but they never forget how you made them feel."

Encourage and motivate the other person: Not only will he be pleased to deal with you, but this technique will also improve your mood. Remember that communication is a two-way process, and both parties charge each other with positive or negative.

Show empathy: This word has become so firmly embedded in our lexicon that we no longer attach much importance to it. But knowing and practicing are two completely different things. Therefore, try next time to listen to the interlocutor's answers and consider them from his point of view, not from the point of view of your bias and beliefs.

Exercise: Yes, you can look for interlocutors and practice on the "battlefield," or you can first negotiate with friends or relatives and practice with each other. There are some useful exercises for this:

  • Find a topic. Decide in advance how much time you will devote to her.
  • Let the other person tell a story from their life. Watch him closely. Then retell the story, copying gestures and facial expressions as well.
  • Watch a dialogue from the movie with a friend without sound. Try to understand what it is about, how the characters feel, and how it all might end.

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