Are You Communicating Effectively?
Effective communication promotes a better understanding of people, reduces conflict, and enhances relationships. Listening is key in the communication process, for if we don’t know how to listen, there is no communication!
Communication to many is all about talking. We are busy interrupting and judging what the other person is saying. Effective communication requires both listening and talking and the statistics show that we should talk about 20% of the time and listen 80%. There is, actually the 80/20 rule that, according to Wikipedia, states:
“The principle was suggested by management thinker Joseph M. Juran. It was named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of income in Italy was received by 20% of the Italian population. The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes.”
This is the same with communication!
“The most basic and powerful way to connect with another person is to listen, just listen. Perhaps, the only thing we ever give each is our attention!.~ Rachel Remen
So, what are some effective listening techniques?
- Pay Attention
- Put other person at ease
- Take away distractions
- Be empathetic & patient
- Listen to their tone
- Observe nonverbal communication
- Paraphrase (seek clarification before responding in a reactive manner
- Give brief responses, such as “mm-hmmm,” “I see,” “Oh?” “Right,” “And?” “Go on,” “Tell me more.” etc.