How often do you try to communicate with someone about what you’re feeling and the message is misunderstood? How often do you try to get your point across and the information is misinterpreted? It’s about having Communicative Competence: “a term in linguistics which refers to a language user’s grammatical knowledge, as well as social knowledge about how and when to use utterances appropriately” as described by Wikipedia.
We begin to learn and develop our communication skills as young children. Strong communications skills are fundamental to success in all areas of your life. Developing effective communication skills starts with being assertive, knowing and understanding what you want to say, and how to effectively say it, so that you are understood. It’s also about being comfortable with who you are, and having the ability to communicate with self-confidence.
Listed are a few guidelines to be conscious of when communicating face to face with others:
• Show interest in what the other person is saying, ask questions, be a good listener
• When speaking with someone, make sure that you are talking “with” them, not “to them.
• Be aware of your body language and your facial expressions. As that speaks loudly, without the use of words
• Be conscious of the tone in your voice. Know that sometimes it’s not so much what you say, but more about how you are saying it
• Speak in a way that others will want to listen, clearly and assertively, but with kindness
Having excellent communication skills go well beyond the use of proper grammar. There’s an emotional expression of sensitivity and intelligence, and knowing how to keep it in balance. It’s about knowing how to communicate with others in a way they can understand and relate to you, recognizing your intentions. It’s in your delivery; your tone and energy that will set the mood for a good conversation.
Each of these skills apply to all forms of communication; whether you are face to face with someone or sending an email or text. It’s about finding and using your signature voice with consistency.
Know that your expression comes out in all forms of communication, even when someone can’t see you. Meaning that when you write and send an email or text a message, it’s always a good idea to pause, reread and smile for a moment, before hitting the “send” button. You might even smile while you’re engaged in a phone conversation, as this resonates in your tone.
“Communicating blame ~ is irresponsible, communicating fear ~ becomes your enemy ~ Communicate with self-confidence ~ is communication well received”
~ Dr. Jill Lee ~