Take a moment and think about how many different people you talk to on a daily basis.
Face to face, a phone call from Boston to Arizona, a quick text message, sign language, an email and maybe even kicking it old school with a card in the mail. Communication is performed by every type of person; young, old, man, woman and I didn’t forget about you Siri, for on average about 16-18 hours a day! Even for a person who loves to talk your ear off (points at self), that is an immense amount of talking. Although we perform this action almost endlessly throughout each given day, we haven’t all mastered the art of communication and problems can arise.
“I don’t feel like I’m explaining myself correctly”
“Can you believe what she just said, she should have kept that private or told her friends”
“Are you listening to what I’m saying right now?”
Take a moment and understand what you want to say
As witty as I may be and sometimes have the perfect thing to say, I have a hard time perfecting the timing of my mind with my mouth. My mind moves at a million miles and processes thoughts way faster than I can put into actual words. Which leads me to feel like I’m not explaining myself in the way I want to. Whenever my emotions are too much or I need to voice something incredibly important, I grab a notebook and write. Being able to process what I want to get across gives me excellent results in being able to properly communicate with my audience. Whether it’s with James, a parent or even for a meeting.
Know who you are speaking to and how they will receieve the information
“Clean up your clothes James or you’re not going to have dessert.” He looked at me like I was crazy and said: “I’m a grown adult.” This is how I imagine things would go if I spoke to James as if he was little youngster again. It wouldn’t really go over well and would be a bit ridiculous to communicate to James in this way. Similar as it would be if I tried to explain the joke I saw on this week’s SNL to a young child.
Being aware of who you’re talking to and the information you’re sending is imperative to the success of communicating with your audience. If the receiver is lost during the conversation the information gets lost and is missed. With all of the information and noise we hear daily, we can be selective in what we truly receive. Therefore if I’m not following a conversation that isn’t being fitted for me I will tend to tune out. Adjust your tone and the content to fit who you’re speaking with in a way for them to understand and accept the information.
Explain your feelings and the importance of being heard
There was a pivotal moment in my life where I was 13 and in a situation where I first understood the importance of my voice and my feelings. I had strong feelings about what was best for me and what I needed in my life at that moment. Yet, there was an individual in my life who didn’t agree. After voicing how I felt in so many ways, face to face and written, my wishes were left unheard. Although this person didn’t stay consistent in my life, their ignorance made me feel like my voice didn’t matter.
It’s extremely hard for anyone trying to find their voice to have someone try to silence your voice. Do you have a moment or someone come to mind where you can relate? I’m sure many of you can think of a time where you didn’t feel heard, that your feelings and wants didn’t matter. Just stay true to how you feel and you can’t go wrong. Continue to voice how you feel and make sure you are clear with the content you are voicing. Nowadays when I do find myself in these situations, instead of getting frustrated, I take a moment to readjust how I’m delivering the message and explain the importance of what I’m trying to get across.
What are your best ways at mastering the art of communication?