Avid communication lies at the heart of human interaction. There are, ironically, more than a million words in the English language but many of us still have trouble getting our point across to others. Effective communication would eliminate arguments, misunderstandings and strained relationships. But our emotions overwhelm us, insecurities tie our tongues down, and mental filters restrict us from speaking the contents of our hearts. These self-imposed limitations result in a loss for words or the wrong words coming out altogether. Confessing our innermost thoughts and feelings with no bounds is a genuinely difficult feat, and this is why we all encounter communication barriers in one form or another. Granted, we love to speak -- opinions, intentions, anecdotes -- but how often do we consider the quality of our statements or the way in which we choose to convey them? If we correspond correctly, the most profound messages can be delivered with far fewer words.
Practice these seven golden rules of communication to become a master of your words:
Seven Solutions to Flawless Communication
1. Listen first, speak later.
2. Watch your body language -- relaxed and natural helps deliver the message.
3. Write down your thoughts before you speak them.
4. Know your audience -- target your words to their specific needs.
5. Offer solutions, not arguments.
6. Speak with conviction, not fear.
7. "I love you" can cure almost anything.
Each person requires a different form of communication, a deliverance of speech tailored to their own needs. You can't chat with your mom as you do with your partner, and you cannot talk to your boss the way you speak with your best friend. Knowing how to be a verbal chameleon results in truly effective speech. Apply my tips from the six categories below to your everyday interactions and enjoy impeccable communication:
With your relative. Understanding your family dynamic is the most important factor. Use to your advantage the unique connection of your family. Know where you stand within your tribe and embrace the full spectrum of emotions experienced by your family members. For example, if one of your siblings does not get along with the other, support both and be neutral instead of taking sides. Maintaining a mindset of compassion a and willingness to partake in the family function can help you get through to a relative. The voice of communication in a family is tolerance and gentle aid.
With your boss. The key to speaking with a person of higher career ranking is confidence in your words. Displaying high self-esteem and demonstrating a great opinion of yourself can convince your boss that you are made for the job. When you communicate correctly with a superior, you can improve their impression and shift their perception. Understand what they require of an employee. What exactly are they looking for? Mold yourself to be just that. The voice of communication in your workplace is malleability and self-certainty.
With your best friend. You just had a brutal argument with your best friend. Now what? Compelling communication is especially tricky in friendships because of the high level of the ego on both sides. Letting your friend know your true intentions and lessening your ego are both essential elements in reaching a resolution. Tell your friend that although you don't agree with them, you're still supportive and would like to discuss what happened. The voice of communication in a friendship is dependability and selflessness.
With your partner. Your partner is a reflection of everything you need to work on and, in the end, your most difficult verbal challenge. This is because communication with your partner is more profound and emotionally driven than any other. Your patience, vulnerability and wisdom are all tested when it comes to handling your partner in a way which will motivate positive change in your relationship. The trick here is to be very sensitive to your partner's words, needs, and actual meaning behind their words. Keep these two words in the back of your mind when conversing with your partner: unconditional love. The voice of communication in a partnership is empathy and compromise.
With yourself. From the moment we are born we begin to search for ourselves. And throughout our quest to "know thyself," we discover endless angles to our ever-evolving being. After all, who you were a decade ago, a year ago, maybe even a day ago, is not who you are right now. We grow and change by the second. And this calls for constant revision of perceived self-notions. Uninhibited communication with yourself requires that you uncover your need and your flaw. Routine, honest introspection helps us recognize these traits. Ask yourself each day: What is it that I really want? Why? Is this need coming from my own heart or outside influence? When we step into the light of our authentic selves, we awaken our abilities. The voice of communication with yourself is continued self-discovery and acknowledgment of your potential.
With the universe. You may or may not believe in the power of energy or that which transcends the physical world. I for one am a firm believer -- that there exists a universal force that governs our world and guides us through life. Establish a two-way communication with the universe. Sacred rituals such as prayer, meditation, and affirmations will help you plug in to a greater source of empowerment. Accept divine intervention and allow yourself to be shown what you must do. This is the foundation of all wisdom. The voice of communication with the universe is clear intentions and continued faith.
In a sea of different daily voices, effective speech is no easy task. But if we practice the key elements of flawless communication, we can deliver our messages clearly and navigate through our words with ease.
Speaking from my heart,
Dr. Carmen Harra
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