Communicating better is one way to make your life easier and more rewarding. Much of our difficulties with others, and even ourselves, come from our inability to communicate. This is a determining area because it’s through verbal and non-verbal language that we tell the world who we are.
Good communication facilitates and promotes mutual understanding. Therefore, communication gives us the capacity to understand ourselves and understand others. Good communication allows us to express what we want to express at the right time. It allows others to correctly interpret the message we’re trying to convey.
“I distrust the inability to communicate. It’s the source of all violence.”
-Jean Paul Sartre-
Also, of course, communication requires you to be able to listen and interpret what others are trying to communicate to us. This seems simple, but it’s not so simple. To achieve this, you have to divest yourself of prejudices, biases, and filters that may lead you to distort what people say.
The best reason to invest energy in this task is because good communication increases your quality of life. When you express yourself in a genuine way, you feel more free. Your load is reduced. Nothing heavy that you haven’t said is choking you. Here we have three techniques that can help you improve your communication skills.
1. Strategy to communicate better: make a substitution
This strategy to communicate better consists of replacing expressions, gestures, and behavior. We all have a kind of internal thermometer or intuition that lights up an alarm when we think that we’re communicating poorly.
The idea is to identify which elements came into play when communication with others isn’t effective. You should concentrate on the possible failures of your interlocutor. At what time was the mismatch? Did you use words or phrases that bothered the other person? What gesture, language, and postures did you use?
You can draw valuable conclusions to help you communicate better by asking those questions. The meaning of all of this is to replace those negative behaviors that prevent you from being clear, open, and assertive in your communication.
2. Increase or reduce
Improving your communication is specifically oriented towards the volume or quantity of your expressions. To communicate better, identify what’s missing or left in your messages.
In principle, the idea is that you focus on the basic unit: the word. Do you use few or many words? Do you use enough words to be understood or do you only try to use the necessary ones? Or do you develop even the smallest details so the other party understands better? Are you using excessive words?
If you want to communicate better you must examine your non-verbal language. You may have excesses or defects in this area as well. If there is very little expressiveness, perhaps it’s because you’re not involved enough in what you’re trying to say. Maybe you’re lacking confidence to express your feelings. If this expression is excessive, it’s possible that your way of communicating intimidates or suffocates others’ communication.
There are aspects that are part of our way of being. You can’t and shouldn’t get rid of them because they’re an essential part of our identity. However, there are also behaviors that should be eliminated if your goal is to communicate better. Among such behaviors is the fear of expressing yourself in front of others.
The fear of communicating what we think or feel is rooted in neuroticism. Human beings should be able to express themselves in any circumstance. What we can choose is how we express ourselves. It’s true that not everyone is fluent in communication. However, we should all be able to express what’s in our inner world with others.
In this way, it’s better to eliminate (or try do to at least) the behaviors that keep us silent when we actually want to speak. It’s in each person to speak out when they want to. This is a decision that requires strength and character, but it’s well worth the effort.
These three techniques will help you communicate better as long as you adhere to them and internalize them. It’s worth doing because good communication enriches your relationships with others. You’ll also be able to improve your internal dialogue and initiate behaviors more consistently with your values and interests.