“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”Bryant H. McGill
Even though my mom and I have a great connection, that doesn’t stop us from having the following kind of conversations quite often.
Mom: – On your way to my place, will you pick
Me: – Pick apples and walnuts up? (Because I know that we planned to make apple pie together)
Mom: – No, silly! Will you pick your aunt up? She called and said she would like to come over too.
That has something to do with us loving to complete each other’s sentences, knowing full well what we say is nowhere near the other one means. But we love a good laugh and never miss an opportunity to have a loud one.
My mom and I do this consciously as an internal joke. But seeing how far the misunderstandings between her and I could get, even though we have a close relationship, says a lot about potential miscommunications that could occur between people who are less familiar with each other. Especially if they are not much in synch on hearing and understanding one another.
Why is communication particularly important?
Communication can be defined as the process of understanding and sharing meaning in what we say and how we say it, both in oral and written forms. If we couldn’t communicate, how would we function? Not being able to ask for what you need or even to understand the needs of others?
Communication is the foundation of all human relationships. It’s the very tool we use to express our ideas and feelings while recognizing the emotions and thoughts of others. Thus, we develop emotions that create preferably positive, but sometimes also negative relationships.
Our communication skills help us to understand others. Not just their words, but also their tone of voice, their nonverbal gestures, the format of their written documents provide us with clues about who they are and what their values and priorities may be.
And if you want to be an active listener and reader, a successful communicator, you might want to use these tips;
- Approach each dialogue to learn something.
- Stop talking and focus on what’s being said.
- Suppress the urge to think about what you’re going to say next,
- Use open-ended questions rather than questions that could get answered with just a yes or no.
- Ask follow-up questions and summarize what you hear and ask questions to check your understanding.
- Encourage practicing positive feedback through a smile, a nod, or a supportive question to show your interest.
- Listen for total meaning as the real message may be non-verbal or emotional, and be fully aware of the body language.
- Pay attention to your responses and show respect for the other person’s point of view, even if you disagree with it.
Communication is an art. Be an artist. Create your best artwork with every person you communicate.