How to Master Effective Communication Once and For All
The ability to master effective communicate is vital because it can benefit every aspect of a person’s life. To a new communicator though, it can be overwhelming reading so many tips. Let’s break down the essential steps, then move on to the more complex ones.
The Top Three Essential Steps to Effective Communication
Think of these as the basic model of communication, much like a car. The accessories come later.
1) Understanding Sender-Receiver
These are the two roles a person plays during a conversation. Each person takes turns being the sender and receiver. The first sender creates the message, and delivers it to the first receiver. Then, the first receiver decodes this message, creates a new message, and sends this back to the first sender (who is now the second receiver). This method is called coding-decoding, and how words are said (tone), plus the non-verbal gestures people use while sending a message, are both just as important as the message itself.
As easy as this sounds, it’s actually much harder to truly listen during a conversation. But this is the most important element when it becomes the receiver’s turn to speak. Using what is being said helps the next sender effectively respond. This assumes the first sender is communicating clearly. If not, the receiver will misunderstand what is being said. Avoid this by listening carefully to what is being said, what is implied via tone, and seeing the non-verbal gestures used during the message.
3) Delivering the Message
Now that the receiver has decoded the sender’s message, it’s now her turn to speak. The second sender should think for a minute about how this message will be decoded, and start forming it accordingly. It’s an end-first technique that can get better results simply because the one creating the message is thinking about how the receiver is going to interpret it. Remember to utilize tone and non-verbal gestures to further get the message correctly understood.
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Now that the basics are understood, it’s time to add the accessories. The following are some options of communicating depending on specific situations.
1) Knowing when to say NO
There will come a time when a person will have to say no to a client, and that’s absolutely okay. Overcommitting to too many jobs at once will hurt the reputation of the business and before you take on a new client or project, be sure to consider if taking it on will be best in the long run. Sometimes, saying “no” can be the best move. There is nothing wrong with declining a project; just make sure to pay attention to a client’s feelings. Code the message with practical reasoning, so that they might understand it’s not a personal decision but a business one.
2) Touchy subjects
Emotionally driven topics take special attention to make sure a person doesn’t sound offensive, coarse, or uncaring. Usually this is best delivered through tone and non-verbals. A speaker must recognize her own emotions to better understand what the other person is going through before speaking. Oftentimes when an employee asks for a raise, it can cause an emotional reaction. As a boss or employee, try to de-escalate the situation with open, friendly non-verbal gestures, and use a respectful tone.
3) Addressing an audience
Speaking to an audience requires a message to be understood by many, all at once. This can create anxiety for most people, since public speaking stresses out 90% of the population. Well before a speaking event, start practice mindful breathing. Take two minutes to unplug and concentrate only on inhaling and exhaling. Try to keep a blank mind, concentrated on each breath. After practicing this technique a couple of times, anxiety levels will be lower during the speaking event. An audience can sense nerves, and this calmness will translate into confidence while speaking.
Remember that communication varies with each person, situation, and topic, so by learning to adapt to these changes a person can become an excellent communicator.
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