Good relationships are important to all of us. No one enjoys being at odds with others or feeling disconnected. One of the easiest ways to develop good relationships at work and at home is by improving your communication skills.
Healthy communication starts with healthy people.
It feels good to engage with people who:
- Listen well
- Use positive body language
- Ask meaningful questions
- Express genuine interest in others
Highly effective communicators understand how important their engagement with other people is and what an impact it has on their ability to build strong relationships.
Communication is so much more than speaking.
Did you know that the majority of what is being said between people is non-verbal? It’s true. The bulk of communication isn’t verbal at all. Most of what we communicate with each other is conveyed by
- Our body language
- Our facial expressions
- The tone of our voice
- The gestures we use
This makes it important to consider not only what we say, but how we say it. People pick up on discrepancies between what we say and what we convey in other ways. Great communicators integrate the two seamlessly to build better relationships. They understand how important it is to be consistent with the entire message they are sending out.
When our communication style is healthy, we have the ability to be better leaders and better family members. We will also generally have more positive outcomes in all our interactions with others.
Unhealthy communicators tend to
- Create distrust or defensiveness
- Alienate people
- Fail to read non-verbal cues
- Cause strife rather than creating consensus
Though there may not be an intention to derail communication, a lack of self-awareness can prevent creating a meaningful connection. Learning new and better ways to communicate can help
- Build rapport
- Establish authority
- Create trust
- Develop empathy
Each of these characteristics leads to more fulfilling relationships and easier interactions with both business colleagues and friends and family.
There’s always more to learn.
Becoming a better communicator is a life-long pursuit. There is no limit to developing great communication and it can be fun learning new skills and techniques. Begin by developing high-quality
- Listening skills
- Non-verbal communication
- Interpersonal relationships
From there you can dive deeper and further develop your skills. In the end, you’ll have developed a unique communication style all your own that is healthy and effective. You’ll have better outcomes in your career as well as with your family and friends.