How to Be an Effective Communicator
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How to Be an Effective Communicator

Communicating clearly in both your personal and professional lives can be a great challenge. Learn some tips to help you become a better communicator.

Everyone has been in a situation where they’re having an argument with someone else, often times to no real solution. Most people have experienced that moment where the other person just will not listen, no matter what the reason. These experiences can be frustrating and confusing, and can lead to further arguments in the future. The best way to prevent arguments is through good communication, which means an equal amount of listening and talking, and really taking into account what the other person is saying.

Here are some ways to be an effective communicator:

1) Get the Problem in the Open – Women seem to have an especially hard time doing this. Do not beat around the bush/sugar coat/downplay. By making the problem appear as a passive thing, one cannot expect the person hearing about the problem to react in an aggressive manner to address the issue at hand. It is important to state very blatantly exactly what the problem is, how it affects you/others, and why the problem is an issue.

2) Avoid Accusations – When in an argument or passionate discussion, beginning a sentence with the word “You” is forbidden. The fastest way to make someone defensive is to automatically start accusing. It might sound stupid, but using personal ‘feeling’ words is the most effective way to state a point without upsetting the other person. This doesn’t necessarily mean saying things like, “I feel sad and angry that I had to work so much overtime this week”. Try something less mechanical, like, “With all the overtime that I’ve had to put in this week I haven’t had time to see my family; as my personal life is important to me, I would really like less hours”. The second statements not only state what the problem is, but they tie in some very human feelings with a good argument.

3) Have Some Suggestions – It’s great to point out a problem to someone else, but to turn around and say, “It’s not my job to deal with it”, can be one of those times where your complaint will go unheard. Try having a valid suggestion prepared to help solve the problem without causing issues with even more people.

4) Be an ACTIVE Listener – This doesn’t just mean hearing the lovely phonetic sounds that the other person is making. A good listener hears what the other person is saying and actually thinks about it. It’s not a good thing to hear part of what is being said and then to immediately begin creating a retaliatory remark. Actually listen to what is being said and take it all into consideration. Show the other person that you are actually listening by using receptive body language and putting in a word here and there to clarify parts of the discussion.

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