Keys To Effective Communication

Communication is an integral component of people’s lives. However, there are cases when people mean to say something good, but the words just won’t come out right. As a result, other parties end up hearing things that just disappoint them. Misunderstandings, frustration, and conflicts may result from miscommunication among people.

Fortunately, there is still hope for people who experience trouble in communicating with others. Enhancing communication skills will allow them to connect more effectively with other people and build long-lasting relationships that are full of trust and respect.

In communicating effectively, people can start with the following:

  • Spend time for face-to-face contact

  • Add some humor

  • Disagreement is okay

  • Do not hold your breath

  • Listen before you speak

  • Take a break when stressed

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Effective communication employs effectively sending the intended message and also listening carefully to understand what the other party is saying. Effective communication also requires use of non-verbal skills, engaged listening, stress management, assertive communication, and recognizing and understanding emotions.

With effective communication, individuals can strengthen their connection with others and improve teamwork, decision-making and problem-solving skills among people.

BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE INTERPERSONAL COMMUNCATION

  • STRESS AND UNMANAGED EMOTIONS

When stressed out or feeling too much emotions, people tend to misunderstand others or send confusing non-verbal signals. Thus, people should learn to relax before conversing with others.

  • LACK OF FOCUS

Doing multiple things simultaneously results in ineffective communication. In such case, a person may miss non-verbal signals during a conversation.

  • INCONSISTENT BODY LANGUAGE

Sometimes, nonverbal signals contradict what people are trying to communicate.

  • NEGATIVE BODY LANGUAGE

People tend to use body language when showing their disagreement with what others are saying. However, though there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing, people should avoid using negative signals to show their disapproval.

KEY SKILL TO IMPROVING COMMUNICATION

  • BE AN ENGAGED LISTENER

Listening is very important in effective communication. This skill indicates being able to understand the information being sent and comprehending the speaker’s emotions. In addition, people should realize that listening and hearing are two different things. People can sense something more when they truly listen. Engaged listening allows them to better understand others and build stronger relationships.

To become engaged listeners, people should first start focusing on the speaker. They should take note of the tone of voice and nonverbal cues that will aid them to fully comprehend another person’s message.

Next, it will be better if people listen with their right ear, as the left brain include primary processing centers for speech comprehension and emotions.

  • TAKE NOTE OF NONVERBAL SIGNALS

Nonverbal signals comprise facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, voice tone, and muscle tension and breathing. Understanding nonverbal communication aids in successfully connection with others and relaying messages effectively no matter what the situation is.

Effective communication can be enhanced using open body language, which includes uncrossing of arms, standing with open stance, sitting on edge of seats, and maintaining eye contact.

Nonverbal communication can be improved by realizing individual differences based on age, culture, age, religion, and emotions and considering communications signals as a group. Meanwhile, delivery of nonverbal communication is improved by using nonverbal cues that match what people say, modifying nonverbal signals based on the context of relayed message, and using body language to convey positive feelings.

  • MIND YOUR STRESS LEVELS

People should check their emotions while communicating with others. Thus, it is important that they learn how to manage their stress. Overwhelming stress can cause people to misunderstand related messages or send confusing nonverbal signals.

Being calm during conversation prevents people from doing things that they may regret later on. Moreover, this state proves to be important in various situations, such as job interviews, business presentations, or high-pressure meetings.

On the other hand, people can stay calm under pressure through various ways, which include the following: use stalling tactics, taking a break and gathering one’s thoughts, present a point and support it with information to engage listener’s attention, say the words clearly and accompany them with even tone of voice and proper eye contact, and summarize the message before stopping.

Meanwhile, stress during communication can be relieved by the following:

  1. RECOGNIZING STATE OF STRESS

People can realize that they are in state of stress through their bodies. During stressful moments, they are bound to feel certain discomfort and discrepancies in body processes.

  1. CALM DOWN

People should allow some time for themselves to breathe before proceeding or discontinuing their conversation.

  1. MANAGE STRESS THROUGH THE SENSES

Stress can be managed by taking deep breaths, clenching and relaxing muscles, and thinking about happy thoughts. On the other hand, people can relieve their stress by using their senses to search for things that can soothe them.

  1. ADD SOME HUMOR TO SITUATIONS

Humor is greatly helps in relieving stressful situations and to lighten the mood of people conversing.

  1. COMPROMISE

Both parties will become less stressed if they find a common ground amidst disagreements in their conversation.

  1. AGREE TO DISAGREE

Disagreements normally arise from conversations, and people should realize that it’s okay. However, to overcome disagreements, they must take a quick break to relax themselves before resuming conversation with another person.

  • SELF ASSERTION

In self-assertion, people should focus on their thoughts, emotions, and needs and still consider their wants and those of others. They should realize that their goal should be to understand the other party and not to win an argument.

Assertiveness can be improved by valuing one’s opinions and choices, recognizing one’s needs and wants, expressing negative thoughts positively, receiving feedback positively, and learning to say “no.”

People can also employ assertive communication techniques, including the following:

  1. In emphatic assertion, people convey their sensitivity to others. This technique also employs recognizing other people’s emotional state and presenting one’s needs and opinions.

  2. In escalating assertion, people become firmer with time and learn to predict consequence when their needs are not met.

  3. Practice assertiveness aids lowering risk situations and also allows for people to develop their confidence.

Being Spiritual

Spirituality and religion are two concepts that people normally used with each other or interchangeably. However, it is possible to separate these two concepts. Some people may be both religious and spiritual, whereas others are spiritual but not religious or the other way around.

When people go to church, it is only natural to think that they spiritual. Sadly, that is not really true. And the same can be applied to those who practice yoga and meditate everyday. And even when a person follows the teachings of a spiritual group, it does not indicate that he is in fact, spiritual.

To avoid causing more confusion, it is better to now clarify the concept of being spiritual.

A spiritual person can be described as someone who loves himself and other people. Such person has compassion for all people, animals, and the planet that we live in and knows that importance of achieving Oneness. A spiritual person is someone who is kind in all aspects.

Thus, though a number of people go to church and pray, they cannot be considered spiritual if they do care about their wellbeing and those of other people. The same goes of yoga practitioners and those who meditate everyday. Belonging to a group and following spiritual teachings only amount to nothing when people still judge themselves and others.

Meanwhile, a number of people do not engage with spiritual practices but are in essence, spiritual. No one should tell these individuals to start caring for others. Naturally spiritual people know when to help and do not judge others nor themselves.

On the other hand, people may be outright religious but are still judgmental and mean to other people. Thus, in such cases, people are apt to think that it is very hard to be both religious and spiritual. Yes, it may be a long shot but a person can still achieve spirituality and religiosity if they practice their religions wholeheartedly.

For example, when people attend spiritual groups, they find numerous people who seem very spiritual on the outside. However, once they are on the streets, they tend to only cause emotional harm to others or exercise unnecessary judgments. Such people had different notion of who God is and thus still need to be enlightened to be more spiritual.

People’s experience with God should never be something that feels like punishment as God only used love in creation of his believers. If people do not welcome love, peace, joy, truth, and kindness into their hearts, then they have not truly found God yet. Meditations are not enough to let God’s love into their heart.

Thus, in order to spiritual, people should learn how to be kind no only to themselves but to other people and creatures living in the planet.

How To Find A Life Coach

There are times when people realize that they just fail whenever they try to make some changes with their lives. In other cases, though it seems that nothing is wrong with their lives, some individuals just feel that they do something for a change. In workplaces, some think that they always got overlooked though they think that they are up for promotion.

During these times when people cannot seem to do the right thing, they resort to self-help books but these things usually cannot provide them with the right kind of advice. Though talking with people should help, peers or loved ones cannot really give proper guidance at all ties.

  • HIRING A LIFE COACH

In their darkest days, when failure seems to be looming around, people should consider hiring a life coach. Life coaches can help people in gaining clarity regarding the things that they want to achieve. Life coaches serve as guide and help their clients in reaching their goals and dreams.

To clarify, life coaches are not therapist but people who help people resolve their issues in addition to guiding them toward their goals. Thus, people should realize that they life coaches cannot address their psychological problems.

  • THE JOB OF A LIFE COACH

Life coaches meet with their clients to help them identify their objectives. They ask questions that can help clients in revealing what they want with their lives. During their meetings, life coaches and clients collaborate and together, form a plan and the necessary strategies to that will bring clients close to their goals.

Life coaches also check how their clients are doing from time to time, motivate them, and perform necessary actions when needed.

On the other hand, people should realize that life coaches are not dictators. They just serve as facilitators for their clients’ goals and help people in recognizing their talents and capacities.

  • WHAT HAPPENS DURING COACHING SESSIONS

During initial meetings, clients may be asked by their life coaches to fill in questionnaires which include questions that probe them about the changes that they want make with their lives, their successes, failures, motivations, and their fear.

Sessions may last for 45 minutes to 1 hour. During sessions, life coaches discuss with client his progress and other important things that happened since their last meeting.

From client narrations, life coaches offer ideas and advice that can aid their clients in proceeding with next step in their plan. Life coaches may also ask for additional details that can aid them clients in further clarifying their goals.

  • WHAT CLIENTS SHOULD GIVE IN RETURN

Clients should be able to collaborate with their life coaches and follow any instructions or advice that they give. People should realize that they the goal of life coaches is to keep their clients organized and motivated and encourage them to change habits should the need arise. Meetings are also important, and thus clients should ensure to keep their appointments.

  • LOCAL VS ONLINE COACHING

Though some may think that in-person coaching is more effective, there is no evidence showing that online or coaching over the phone is less so.

Online coaching has several benefits, including the following:

  1. People can select coach from any place in the world.

  2. Multiple coaches may be hired.

  3. People can look for specific coach for their needs

  4. Some clients prefer not talking with coaches in person

  5. Clients may have their sessions while in travel or anywhere

  6. Money is saved as coach and client need not to travel for their meetings

Meanwhile, some people are better off talking with their coaches in person. For those who prefer such type of sessions, they can search local listings for available life coaching services.

  1. SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT COACH

A number of life coaches offer free initial consultation. During these meetings, people can assess whether a specific life coach is perfect to accommodate their needs.

To find a perfect coach, people can use matching services that provide specific criteria that can aid them in searching for the right candidate.

  1. WORKING WITH A LIFE COACH

Life coaches are always willing to listen to their clients and discuss properly problems that need addressing. Moreover, they help their clients realize the solution to their own problems and encourage them to take the necessary steps.

People should be thoroughly open with their life coaches. Moreover, they should feel safe while discussing their own personal dilemmas.

SPECIALTIES

Life coaches specialize in various areas, including marriage, finances, businesses, and other areas where people find difficulty in achieving their goals. When searching for a life coach, people should consider several things, such as gender, experience, methods, and traits and skills of the life coach.

  1. COST OF HIRING A LIFE COACH

Life coaching costs around $300 per hour. Though the price may vary, people should not use this as sole factor in hiring a life coach. The more important thing is that they get along with their coach and they can confide with them without any worries.

Getting Unstuck: A Guide to Discovering Your Next Career Path

 

At some point in their lives, almost all people experience getting stuck into dire situations that seem to be without any resolution. During these moments, people feel the great need to do something with their lives to induce some change. However, what people do not realize that being enslaved by this feeling only puts people at risk in terms of career and personal life.

Timothy Butler provides in his book, Getting Unstuck, methods that can help people when they are in state of impasse. He presents several pointers that can help readers in recognizing impasse, activating their imagination, recognizing patterns of meaning, and initiating actions.

The book also contains stories of people who succeeded in going beyond their impasse. Thus, Getting Unstuck, should serve as practical guide that can help individuals in searching for the right path that they must take in order to move forward.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Timothy Butler serves as psycho therapist and director of Career Development at Harvard School. He believes that people can gain motivation from cul-de-sacs that they normally encounter in their lives. The struggle is really, and freeing one’s self is never easy, but people are the only ones who can help themselves. Butler’s approach in the book is already tried and tested, and a number of people have experienced this first-hand.

PROS

Some reviewers think that the book is one of the greatest self-help material found online. People also need not to worry about the credibility of the book as it is backed by annotated bibliography. The book provides refreshing insights that readers will find very helpful when they go through stage of impasse. They will become more aware of the signs and use such knowledge in freeing themselves from such burden. Basically, the book serves as effective guide in helping people move on about their business and reach their goal.

On the other hand, a number of readers find the exercises provided in the book very useful. The psychological background of the author also contributes helping people detect hidden conflicts within themselves.

CONS

Some readers think that the stories given failed to connect with the general content of the book, whereas others think that the author could have provided more comprehensive examples. Meanwhile, other readers think that the book is only useful to professional counselors and does not really address most issues that the general public face during their lifetime.

Technically, the book contains exercises but some think that the writing requires improvement. Others think that the number of examples are too much and should have been replaced with more valuable content.

Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality

In the Buddhist tradition, there is the belief that peace and happiness can be achieved when people learn to ignore their urge to scratch. More of these Buddhist beliefs are discussed by Pema Chodron in her audiobook, Getting Unstuck. The audiobook contains information which was passed down to Chodron by her teacher, Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche.

In her book, Chodron focuses on pre-emotional feeling that boils within people and eventually causes discomfort. This condition, in turn, force humans to react in order to escape their situation, which they usually do by succumbing to undesirable habits.

The concept of itch-and-scratch, the shenpa, is also deeply discussed in the book. As narrated by Chondron, people will learn how to recognize shenpa and welcome it into their lives instead of running away from it. Chondron also reiterates some important points:

  • CRITICAL MIND or being able to identify shenpa and be kind towards one’s self and other people

  • Learning methods of revealing self-denigration and developing maitri or loving kindness for one’s self

  • Learning to accept one’s irritability, securities, and other human traits

  • Learning about the 4 R’s of working with shenpa: recognition, refrain, relaxing, and resolve

People are always prone to urges, and succumbing with such temptation only becomes stronger everytime that people give in. And people should learn how to embrace their cravings and habits. On the other hand, Chondron provides guidance on how people should explore the moments when they get hooked with their urges and the necessary tools for people to be more comfortable with themselves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ani Pema Chodron was born in New York City in 1974 and went to Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut and University of California at Berkeley. She previous worked as school teacher in New Mexico and California.

When she went to the French Alps, Chodron met Lama Chime Rinpoche. Under Rinpoche’s mentoring, Chodron decided to become a nun in 1974 and was ordinated by His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa.

Afterward, Chodron worked as director of Karma Dzong in Boulder, Colorado then director of Gampo Abbey.

At present, Chodon serves as teacher in the US and Canada and aims at expanding Tibetan Buddhist monasticism in the West.

PROS

A number of listeners think that Chodron is an effective teacher and her teachers provided them with comfort while they were going through difficult times. With her audiobook, some people realized that the brain was very capable of distorting reality, and this distortion causes people their suffering. Chodron also emphasizes that people should avoid having negative emotions, such as anxiety, depression, and anger.

Aside from her soothing voice and insight, people will come to love Chodron’s sense of humor. She also introduces several Tibetan words and concepts and explains them in manners that most people can relate to. Moreover, people will find her real-life examples very helpful as they proceed on listening to the book. Chodron recognizes the fact that meditating is not that easy but she provides listeners guidance on easing such burden.

CONS

Some people did not approve of Chodron’s discussion of problems, and others thought that her solutions are unclear and were not very helpful. Other listeners also noted some unnecessary sounds picked up by Chodron’s microphone while recording. Meanwhile, some people think that the audiobook did not provide adequate information on the practice of meditation.