Effective Communication Habits For Personal Development

It has long been established that the ability to express your ideas succinctly, effectively and eloquently has been the hallmark of both the elite and the successful people of every generation. Communication is very vital to people’s lives since we interact with each other daily. The process of personal development is intertwined with your ability to communicate effectively be it in the work place or in your relationships.

What is communication?
Communication in its most simplistic definition is the process of relaying a message from a sender to a receiver. It can be termed as the currency we use to maneuver our personal and professional interactions. The stack difference between effective and poor communicators is not based solely on skills ability. You need to have a good relationship with yourself and take charge in fashioning your outer reality. This will empower you to change and improve your interactions with all the people you communicate with.

To be an effective communicator you need to have a self-questioning mindset to always know your role in influencing situations around you. This way you will be empowered to change something about yourself rather than reacting or blaming others about your circumstances.

One of the best ways to improve your communication skills is to practice. This can be achieved by talking to people from various backgrounds and learning to interpret the verbal and non-verbal cues. Below are some of the proven ways to improve your communication skills for personal development:

• Develop a culture of reading
Constant reading is a good habit, but you should be careful to read literature that will build you rather than influence your mindset negatively. Reading helps you to learn new words and how to apply them in your daily communication. You will realize that your vocabulary is getting richer by the day and your understanding becomes deeper. Reading materials can range from novels, comic books, blogs and even self-help books. With time, this can be a pleasurable pastime activity rather than a chore.

• Listen to interviews, commentaries and speeches
Take some time and listen to audio files of great orators and thought leaders who tackle different topics in life. This way you’ll be able to have well-organized ideas and learn how to elaborately use your lingo to create an impact. Good public speakers have that power to influence and sway their audience in a particular direction they desire. Good interviewers also have the skill to elicit vital information from the people they are interviewing. They all started by listening and practicing what they heard in various fora.

• Try role playing or acting
You may have noticed that most actors and actresses are normally excellent communicators. It is important to sometimes envision yourself as an actor or actress and determine how effective you are at relaying messages through various communication cues. This may include nonverbal cues like eye contact, facial expressions, gestures and general body movements. This will help you to express yourself better when communicating with different people.

• Be empathetic in your communication
Communication is all about giving and receiving feedback. You don’t have to always take the opposing side; you can make it easy for your partner in order to reduce anxiety. Endeavor to develop empathy in your communication because it helps in deciphering even the non-verbal cues hence enabling you to respond effectively.

• Avoid distractions when communicating
Paying attention while communicating is a sign of respect and shows that you are really interested in what you are being told. It will appear rude to be using your phone while somebody is talking to you. Never show disrespect to someone you have just met since you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make an effort to appear confident and respectful in your dealings especially in business communication. Always maintain eye contact and participate in the conversation to improve your communication skills.

• Learn effective body language and the use of tone
To improve your communication, try and avoid postures that appear defensive or using a voice inflection that sounds negative. A conversation always goes south when you start being defensive. The defensive mode can be provoked by the other person, but you don’t have to show it. Never let emotion cloud your judgement when communicating. Bad use of body language is usually the lead cause in communication breakdown.

• Develop a habit of asking questions and repeating the other person
It is normal to be distracted when people are talking to us. By asking questions and repeating what the other person said last shows that you are interested in the conversation. It also helps to keep you active and be able to seek clarity in places you misunderstood.
Asking questions is also a good way to encourage small talk to avoid awkward silences. Very few people have mastered the art of small talk. To avoid being blank with people you just met, it is important to have a plan. You can use the FORD technique (family, occupation, recreation and dreams). This will help you to avoid delving into mundane issues like discussing about the weather. Remember it is better to appear interested than to be interesting.

In conclusion;
To become an effective communicator, it is important to take responsibility in every conversation you participate in so that you shape the kind of results you wish to get. This will empower you to achieve meaningful relationships both personal and professional in order to create an impact in the society.


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