Excuse Me, Are You Talking to Me?
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 for me or I need to speak on something incredibly important, I grab a notebook and jot down my feelings and what I want to say. Being able to be in my own and process what I want to get across has given 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.” Now, this is only how I would imagine things would go if I spoke to James in the way our parents would speak to us when we were little. It wouldn’t really go over well and would be a bit ridiculous to communicate to James in this way just as it would be if I tried to explain the joke I saw on this week’s Saturday Night Live to a young child. Being aware of who you are 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 or they will ignore. Due to the amount of information and noise we hear in a given day, we can be selective in what we truly receive, therefore if I’m not following a conversation that isn’t being fitted for me then I will tend to become disengaged and will tune out. Adjust your tone and the content to fit who you are speaking in a way for them to truly understand and accept the information being said.
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 very strong feelings about what I felt was best for me and what I needed in my life at that moment, however, there was an individual in my life who felt they knew what was best for me. 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 and blocking of what was being said to them made me feel like my voice didn’t matter. It was extremely hard for a young girl who is trying to find her voice have someone who is suppose to support her silence her voice. I’m sure every one of you can think of someone or an incident where you didn’t feel like you were being 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?