Effective Communication and Emotional Health
The ability to communicate effectively is an essential skill in today’s world. Communication is a dynamic process and how you communicate can positively and negatively affect the relationships personally and professionally.
Effective communication creates more opportunities to bond which can strengthen relationships and help us to feel more supported. Increased social support has been linked to emotional wellness which also contributes to more favorable health outcomes. #HappyPeopleAreHealthier
Communication is more than just words—it includes:
· How you say it—including the tone of your voice
· Why you say it—the intention behind the message
· When you say it—for example—during an argument, time of day
· What you done say—sometimes what you don’t say gives a clearer picture of what is going on than that you said
· Your body language—including facial expressions, gestures and posture
Barriers to Effective Communication
Judging the other person—if you’re judging you aren’t listening; you’re having an internal response that produces internal dialog and distracts you from the person
Distractions—another barrier is not paying attention to the person you are talking to; Distractions could be: looking at your phone, looking away when the person is talking or not listening to the thoughts or feelings of the person you are speaking to….#HowRude, #HowDareYou, NOT COOL FRIEND!
Giving solutions or unwanted advice—some of us have a natural impulse to problem solve or give out advice….When people want advice, they will ask. If someone doesn’t ask, just listen.
Avoiding the concerns of others—we don’t get to tell people how to feel and we don’t dictate their perception. I hate when I’m expressing myself to someone and they fail to acknowledge my feelings or concerns.
Before we get into tools for effective communication, let’s marinate on the barriers I discussed… You might be a bad communicator if you’re prone to judgement, appear distracted, give out unsolicited advice, or avoid the concerns of others. These things convey a lack of concern and clearly demonstrate that you aren’t listening….Don’t be like that friend!!!!
So, what is effective communication? In short, it’s a skill that is learned and practiced. No one is born a great communicator, but don’t let that stop you from being great!
Effective communication includes:
Active listening: to listen actively, listen twice as much as you speak, be alert an interested in the other person, refrain from interrupting and reflect back what you’ve heard
Ask questions instead of assuming: this conveys empathy and shows interest
Keep it cute: in this context I mean, be clear and succinct. See how that wasn’t clear? What does keep it cute mean anyways? It could literally mean keep it cute, like being attractive…the literal meaning of the word or I could have been implying that I want you to act in an amenable way. See how unclear and confusing that can be? Don’t do that…..Be clear, say what you mean and mean what you say….
Now it’s your turn friend! I’m here for you, so I want to hear from you! What’s your best tip on communication or favorite communication skill? Feel free to share in the comment section below.