Healthy Communication Skills are necessary to improve the quality of your relationships. Building healthy communication skills is a lifelong learning process. This means that there is always room to improve your communication skills, grow your experiences, and develop your relationships.
Benefits of Healthy Communication Skills
Reaping the benefits of healthier communication skills will transform your life through your relationships, interactions, and personal and professional development.
Here are 4 benefits:
· Healthy communication skills create space for a better quality of life through more well-rounded social interactions.
· Improved communication skills foster deeper relationships by allowing for better quality conversations, deeper and more impactful communication, as well as more lasting relationships.
· Effective communication skills reduce conflict in relationships.
· Quality communication skills fosters positive characteristics and traits such as improved problem-solving skills, increased trust and awareness, enhanced feelings of togetherness and teamwork, as well as greater productivity.
Effective Communication Skills
Now that we’ve identified some benefits of healthy communication skills, let’s turn our attention to what healthy communication skills look like. Healthy communication skills create more effective means of communication in both our personal and professional lives. The skills are all-around useful and will facilitate improved communications and interactions to allow you to get your ideas across and for them to be understood as you intended.
With communication, you should be mindful that each participant in a conversation is coming to that conversation with their own ideas and agendas. Hence, effective communication starts with recognizing this fact and making space for a healthy give and take in the interactions.
Let’s identify these effective communication skills:
1. Stay present in the moment. Maintain awareness of the dynamics playing out between you and the other participants you’re communicating with.
2. As noted above, communication is about give and take. Each participant has a goal or idea that they want to get across. Make room for each participant to be heard and listened to.
3. Active listening is necessary. Pay attention to what is being said by the other participant. Show cues that you are actively listening and not just thinking about what to say next.
4. Monitor nonverbal communication. In every conversation, we communicate with our bodies just as much, if not more than, with our mouths. So, if you’re not paying attention to body language, you are missing out on half of the conversation. Nonverbal communication includes body language, eye movements, facial expressions, tone of voice, breathing, and body postures.
5. Honesty and authenticity are a must. Be authentic and honest about your feelings, desires, intentions, and goals for the conversation.
6. Own your feelings. Use “I” statements to take ownership of your feelings. Take responsibility for your words, behaviors, and actions. This shows maturity and willingness to work through the problems.
7. Practice empathy. Having honest and authentic conversations are very difficult for many people. Being vulnerable is quite difficult to do and takes a lot of courage. Acknowledge this strength for yourself and for the person you are communicating with. Practice empathy by trying to understand the other person’s point of view; try to imagine what it would be like to be in that other person's shoes. Imagine what it would be like, to be that person going through whatever they’re sharing with you.
8. Always clarify. Ask clarifying questions. Ask open-ended questions. Create space by showing interest in what the other person is discussing. Take time to ensure you understand what they are trying to communicate to you.
9. Provide feedback. Share your ideas. Communicate your thoughts.
10. Validate the other participants’ experiences. Allow them to validate your experiences. Effective communication requires understanding that two people can experience one thing in different ways.
11. Know when to walk away. Know when and where to set boundaries. At times, even the most effective communication skills will require us to take a break. The topic may be every emotional for the participants or the problem may seem overwhelming. It is okay to take a step back and ask for some time to gather your thoughts or to cool off and return to the conversation. Setting boundaries is your personal right. Setting a boundary helps you to stay in control of your emotions, create a safe space for the conversation to continue, and demonstrates respect to the other participants by respecting their time and effort in the conversation.
Try practicing each of these skills until you feel comfortable with them. Over time, you will start to see the benefits of your improved communication skills in your social interactions, both professionally and personally.
Connect with me today and schedule a free 15-minute consultation if you would like to work on these skills with some support.