Good Communication is Important
Good communication is essential in all aspects of our lives, but it can sometimes be hard to accomplish. In a time where people have never been more "connected" to each other with technology, our skills in meaningful communication could use a little work. It is important to practice positive communication skills such as speaking carefully and listening reflectively to reduce chances of misunderstanding and hurt feelings. Some helpful communication tips:
- When speaking, be specific and stay focused on your topic. Be honest and respectful, remain calm and be sensitive to the feelings of others. Use "I messages" which are statements that allow the speaker to express concerns and feelings without blaming others or making them defensive. For example: "I worry that something has happened to you when you don't come home on time."
- When listening, be attentive and focus on what the person is saying, rather than think about how you are going to respond. Listen with empathy and consider things from their perspective. Also consider non-verbal messages like tone of voice and body language. Avoid judging, criticizing and giving solutions unless asked for.
- Clarify or check to see if you understood the speaker's message correctly. Repeat back to the person what they said in your own words to check for accuracy. This can be a crucial step in preventing miscommunication.