Using positive communication skills can build more meaningful connections and greater respect, improve teamwork and support your well-being. It requires more than just getting your point across -- it's about being a good listener, managing your emotions, asserting yourself in a respectful way and paying attention to nonverbal communication.
Try putting these basic communication skills into practice:
- Sit down together, if possible. Sitting down invites you and the other person to relax and open up a bit better to the conversation.
- Prepare respectful responses on sensitive subjects.Try to anticipate alternative viewpoints and plan how you’ll respond respectfully.
- Avoid interrupting—or talking over—the other person. Listen to everything that’s being said, even if you disagree with it.
- Don’t rush to judgment. Be willing to think about what the person is saying and show that you’re taking it seriously.
- Check your tone and body language. Do you sound calm and pleased or urgent, hesitant, or angry? Or perhaps you’re avoiding eye contact, crossing your arms, fidgeting, or leaning too close to the other person. If so, you may not be sending an effective message.
- When you’re angry, take a time out. Excuse yourself, take a short walk away, and count to 10 to cool down before possibly blurting out something hurtful.