3 Tips That Will Make You A Better Communicator
For just one day, try this challenge. Listen more and talk less. Listen to understand. Listen to learn. Listen to empathize. Listen to validate. Listen to connect.
Don’t worry. You won’t become invisible, powerless or less impactful. In fact, you’ll become more visible. You’ll stand out as someone who cares about what others think, in a world where, generally, people are busy pushing their agenda, selling their ideas or jockeying for position.
Keeping our mouths shut is hard. So, try these three techniques to listen actively. You’ll become a far more effective communicator.
- Mirror the speaker’s message. Accurately restate the content and emotional tone of the speaker’s message by paraphrasing what you heard. This is a good way to demonstrate that you understand what was said. And, it allows the speaker to clarify important points, you may have missed or misunderstood.
- Empathize with the speaker’s feelings or emotional state. Let the person know that you hear how they feel about what they’re sharing with you. Name the emotion you believe the speaker is experiencing. Use phrases like, “you sound happy or sad, scared, angry, concerned, disappointed,” etc.
- Validate the speaker’s point of view. Confirm that you understand the situation through her eyes, even if your point of view differs. That you can appreciate why he feels the way he does, even if you don’t agree. To practice validation, use phrases such as… “I can see why you say…” Or, “Given the data you have, I understand why you believe…”
- Notice how many people – at home and at work – will complement you for being such a good listener, for caring or for affording them the opportunity to talk through something that concerns them.
Emotionally intelligent people practice active listening. They genuinely appreciate what others have to say and are rewarded with new knowledge they’d otherwise miss. To power up your effectiveness as a communicator, and your reputation for being someone who cares and respects others, listen more and talk less. Then watch the impact it has on you and on others.