Typically, arguments and misunderstandings stem from a lack of effective communication. By developing better communication skills you will begin to see a change in your interpersonal relationships. Below are a few tips to get you started on the road to effective communication.
The first step to being a good communicator is being a better listener. Hear what the other person is saying without responding in a way that suggests otherwise. Don’t talk over the other person; this shows that you are not interested in what they are saying but rather have your own agenda.
After the other person is done speaking, take a moment to think about what they said. You don’t need to respond instantly once their last word is spoken. Stopping to reflect for a few seconds shows that you are processing what they said and taking it seriously. Then, try to reiterate what they said. Start with phrases such as “what I heard you say is….” Or “what I understood was….” This will then allow the other person to correct any misunderstandings in what you heard.
Don’t let distractions interfere with your conversation, especially an emotionally charged conversation. If the phone rings, let it go to voicemail, you can respond later to it. If the television is on, lower the volume or turn it off. This will send the message that you are taking the conversation seriously.
Try to look at it from the other person’s perspective. Think about the importance of the relationship you have with them (your significant other, your parent/child, your co-worker). Keep this in mind when communicating with them. Also, acknowledge and accept responsibility for your role in the situation. This will allow the other person to feel comfortable doing the same.
Always make eye contact. This shows that you are engaged in the conversation. Show you care through nonverbal means, nodding, a hand to the shoulder, etc.
Remember, to keep an open mind to whatever the other person expresses. Patience and understanding go a long way.
If you are having relationship troubles, call the relationship experts at Holtz Psychological Services NOW! Before things get worse, so you can make them better!