Communicating is something that comes naturally on a daily basis, but effective communication is something that requires a certain amount of knowledge. Learning the steps of effective communication is important in any setting. It allows you to convey your thoughts in a meaningful and genuine way, and it allows you to avoid and resolve conflict quickly.
The most important factor in communicating effectively is learning to listen. Listening is something that many fail to do, and it can lead to some major issues. This is most often the case in conflict as many find themselves focusing more on what they intend to say next instead of on what the other is saying. It can also occur when you wish to say something witty or charming and place all your attention on the construction of your next sentence.
If you are having trouble keeping stock of all of the information, you may want to try asking the person to stop for a moment to reflect on what was said up to that point. Waiting for your turn to speak in lieu of listening fails to convey the proper message to the person you are attempting to communicate with. It lacks respect and, in a sense, you are only half listening. This leads to an abrupt end to the conversation that can often leave others unsettled.
Another important thing to avoid is jumping to solve the problem that is being discussed. People often need to talk as a form of therapy and do not need suggestions to fix their problems. It is important to remain objective and to avoid trying to make suggestions to make the person more like you.
Assertive communication allows for a measure of confidence and freedom in a situation where others will listen to what you have to say. Those who are assertive are exceptional listeners, and they work to communicate strength and caring. They also create a state of relaxation to avoid any amount of anxiousness.
Learning to recognize and acknowledge the opposite side of the conversation is a skill that assertive people must possess. Sticking to “I” statements, such as “I am very unhappy with…” implies ownership of behaviors and is more effective than placing blame. Placing blame often puts others on the defensive immediately and cuts off the lines of communication. Understanding the needs and desires of others helps to create an effective resolution.
Negotiating conflict should always have the aim of relationship preservation. Avoid focus on the person’s position and place more focus on what is behind his position. Doing this will allow for information that will lead to ways to resolve the conflict. The resolution should benefit both parties in some way. Recognize the importance of the opinions of both sides and meet in the middle.