Sometimes communicating is harder than you expect. Even if you’re an outgoing, talkative person, there are often times where you think you’re saying something clearly, but whoever you’re talking to gets a completely different message. It can be hard to correct this miscommunication once it happens.
If you’re trying to learn how to better communicate with others to get what you want out of life, there are some easy ways to get this done so you can get on with what you really want to do. In the process, you’ll have people want to follow your lead and help you accomplish your goals.
Watch Your Body Language
You might think that the first part about communication is speaking your thoughts clearly, but it’s actually how you present yourself. Body language can often speak more loudly than any words you use. If you’re talking with your boss about why you’re a dedicated hard worker who deserves a raise, but you’re slouched in your chair and playing with your hands, you’ll come across as shy, self-conscious person asking for something, instead of a confident employee negotiating what you deserve.
The next time you’re entering a conversation where you want to communicate better with someone, watch what you do with your body. Actions like wringing your hands, looking around the room and crossing your arms should be avoided at all times. Instead, keep a steady gaze with your interlocutor, sit up straight and only use your hands to punctuate important parts of what you’re saying, and only if you have to.
Make a Script
Trying to make friends, but unsure of how to start a conversation? It’s difficult to start a real relationship by talking about the weather or what’s for lunch every day of the week, so instead, make yourself a script of what to say when it comes to small talk. This will help you gain friends around the office, and eventually make you an easily approachable person. Another really great way to start communicating better with others is by strengthening your relationship with yourself. One thing I personally have been working through is speaking to myself as I would want others to speak to me. Having self respect and stopping hurtful self talk can really make a difference in your mental health, confidence, and your communication with others.
Improving your communication may feel like you have to change what you say or do, but sometimes it just comes down to being a better listener. Make an effort to improve your listening skills before your next big conversation. If you pay attention to what the person is speaking about, you’ll know what really matters to them and how best to approach the situation.
Recognizing you need to improve your communication skills can be an essential part of bettering yourself and your life. Put all the effort you can into identifying where your problem areas are. Do you speak confidently, but act scared? Do you start conversations and find yourself zoning out and not remembering what the conversation was about?
By practicing good conversational techniques in situations that may not seem like a big deal — think talking with your cashier at the grocery store — you’ll be better prepared to be an excellent conversationalist when the time comes for it to really matter. Then you can start positively changing your life to get what you want.