Communication skills are the key to success!

The risk of communication is that it is “lost in translation” which is most likely caused by lack of skills in communication. Lack of communicating or ineffective communication can break relationships, it can cause huge distress to others and it can even harm people beyond your wildest beliefs (e.g. bullying)

But communication isn’t just verbal or written, it is also about how you say something and the body language you use. Verbal communication is more than just the words, it is also the tone of voice you use. Written as well is way more than just having sentences strung together.

There is no risk of becoming a too great of a communicator. No one will ever come up to you and say, “You made your point entirely too clear!”  

Remember while communicating

  1. Communication is a two-way street. It isn’t enough for you to be a good communicator. You have to also be a good listener and even a greater detective. Here is why; Listening gives you clues to how your message has been received, does the person sound defensive? Do they have a relaxed or tense stance? Are their arms crossed? Did they lock their jaw? What could you have said to make them frustrated? Was your point to make them react in the way they did?
  2. No one is a great communicator right of the bat. I mean we are born lumps of flesh that can’t do more than cry. We need constant help and attention. Sometimes we even are enabled to communicate in a bad Not to point fingers at anyone but letting your kid get the candy in the store just because they yelled and screamed and you want them to shut up, isn’t a good way to teach a kid to communicate. While kids have to be kids there has to be some type of a hint for them that hissy fit isn’t a communication skill anyone appreciates. (Let’s not forget that a lot of adults have their versions of hissy fits too) We need to constantly remember that we can and should improve and it doesn’t happen by osmosis… we need to make an effort to learn.

Key Pillars of Communication

  1. Plan your communication

What are you trying to say? Are you giving feedback? Is there a chance you will offend the person? What are the world choices you might need to reconsider? For example, when giving someone feed back (in the form of criticism) we often do it a) when we have had enough and we just burst out and say something really harshly (or write it). b) we often start accusing; you never, you always, why can’t you ever do what I say. It always starts with a you and it makes a person feel attacked. Change the way you communicate to be more about yourself not the person you are talking to.

How to do this? For example, like this: “I have noticed that I need a bit more guidance in these 3 things. Could you give me directions that are even more clear?” This way we start from our needs and the other person doesn’t feel attacked. They feel like with a change of action they can improve something for you because you need it not because they suck. (Of course, there are some people who just never accept any type of suggestions or criticism. Avoid those people at all cost if at all possible)

2. Time your communication smartly

Don’t start talking to a parent about their bad parenting skills when their kid decided to run away. Don’t tell your partner they suck in bed during a fight. Don’t start giving feedback to someone about them when they are doing it to you. (even if all is actually true) Timing is often everything and quite often we communicate to defend or even offend rather than to resolve. It is also a sign of our insecurities when we defend/offend. Here is a my post on confidence. Make sure that when you speak or write it is proactive and not reactive.

3. Be present while communicating.

It is so easy to not actually listen to what the other one is saying. I do this and so does everyone else. Especially with phones being there all the time. But even when social media isn’t the culprit there are many other ones. We are thinking of what we want to say next, we get annoyed about something the other person said and we tried to keep it in but actually we are just having a monologue inside our own minds. (Go check out my Attention blog post)

Be present, that way you can be a good detective and learn more in the situation than you ever could have just by talking.

I will get back to talking about communication skills soon for couple of reasons:

  • We live in a world where we use words to start fights, even wars. The strongest weapons we have are words and I want us to use them to generate peace not war
  • We communicate with ourselves a lot and end up hurting ourselves more than anyone else hurts us. This hinders our progress in personal development because we end up not trying anything in the fear or failing, not only in front of others but especially in front ourselves.
  • Communication is a key for great well being at work. We need to be able to have clear instructions on what we need to get done and what others need to get done for us. Lack of or bad communication can cause misunderstandings, fights and lead to unnecessary stress. You should communicate to your employees, your co-workers your clients and everyone else in a clear way, in order to save time, resources and build trust between people. This is a great way to improve well being.

More on all of these topics later; don’t hesitate to comment about communication in general or if you want to read something specific related to it.

Thanks for reading as always! See you next time 😉  

Here are some recourses for you, in order to work on communication:

Back to Basics: Communication 101

Charisma on Command: BLOG and YOUTUBE

Types of Communication

Communication Theory

How To Never Run Out Of Things To Say In Conversation

Not everyone listens, do you?

We are more separated from each other than ever. Everything or close to everything is about being correct. Everyone has that vice in them. To be honest I think it should be 8th of the deadly sins. The feeling, the need to always have something to say. And to have an opinion about things that you have only heard from a friend of a friend of a friend. (x 10 of a friend).

I am so so guilty of this. Ask my boyfriend, he will tell you. I pretend to be right about some political subject or business subject and I don’t even follow political or business news. I am such a fraud!  And chances are that so are you. And that is ok if you are willing to work on it. Because a society, the world cannot function if we all act like 5-year-olds and pretend that we don’t know that we can’t get through a wall no matter how hard we bang our head against it. “But I want to get through the wall, it is a stupid wall if I can’t through it, mom you are so stupid why didn’t you say it would hurt if I’d bang my head against the wall 20 times.” Sadly we are no longer 5. The world’s issues aren’t as small as whether or not we get to go to a birthday party. (Remember how the biggest offense you could do to someone was to say they weren’t invited to your birthday? Anyway…) 

Now more than ever we must open our mouths not to yell out how correct we are about everything, but to say “Hmmm that is interesting, please explain your point of view.” Look, chances are you won’t agree. There are some cultural, religious and political opinions that I just won’t agree because my brain even without factual information doesn’t feel like it makes any sense. But listening. Trying actually trying to understand what the other person says doesn’t cost you anything. That is the key to communication and accepting that sometimes people don’t agree with each other. That doesn’t mean that you have to hate them, cut all ties to them and be ready to punch them in the face the moment they walk towards you. (It might be impossible to be friends with them, but you can still be polite!)

There is enough hate, violence and just plain darkness in our world, and by not listening, by needing to always be right (and to cut ties to a person who disagrees with you) we are inherently building a society that will collapse. If a bridge that is made of many pieces, will all of a sudden crumble because it has too many cracks in them the same thing happens to our social structure. 

Don’t burn bridges when you don’t even know how to build them in the first place

No structure human-made or made of humans will hold if everything is going to be separated. I myself believe that internet, social media and the “old” media all are contributing to this. The Internet is such a huge huge source of information, but you can pick and choose what you want to read on. Online texts and videos don’t go through the same kind of process that books do and still there are also books that are total bullshit. 

On social media, it is so easy to say our point of view, without our faces ever shown, without anyone ever knowing who we are. It gives us the feeling of safety to say whatever we want, without needing to feel accountable for those words. No need to research what I say, (from the different point of views) cos no one will actually know it was me.  The fact that the more clickbaity the headline is the more reads you get is sadly very true. Even for me, I am way more attracted to a  shocking headline that is meant to provoke than an article that describes actual information about new cancer studies. 

We live in a world where what we say has to have shock value more than it has to have information value. But we have to make sure that we are smarter than that. We have great communication skills if we practice them beyond sending a WhatsApp msg “whazzup” or telling some to go fuck themselves.

Some information makes my blood boil. And makes me mad and sad. But reacting to it in a harsh way is not going to help anything or anyone. You can use words as a weapon, but only if you are saying something that is researched and true (please realize that with many subjects your truth will be different from someone else’s truth) , so that is someone is going to read both of your comments/stories, then they can pick the smarter sounding one (for them) to believe and support. 

The other part to this thing about being calm and researched rather than exploding like a bomb is that no matter how much you yell. How much you scream and how hysterical you become it probably won’t change their minds. It won’t make them all of a sudden wake-up and be ” oh now that you screamed at me and told me that my mom is a wh*** I am going think the way you think”

It is possible to look from afar and not agree with something and still do your thing without judging. Judging is something that religions also frown upon yet many people still feel the need to judge someone in the name of God. (“I am not judging you but what you are doing is wrong and you will burn in hell, and I hope you know that “<– that is still judging, just btw.)

We think that is we don’t judge them then it shows our morals. But really it doesn’t. Morals are shown by us acting in a certain way when those choices come to us and our lives. Somethings like murder, things that affect other people like trying to make groups of people submit or situations that are radical to that extent, I can understand trying to work against that in a more radical way. But if someone doesn’t believe in your God or doesn’t think that certain people should have rights or that people shouldn’t have the power to choose about their own lives and bodies, the best way to fight them off, to change things, isn’t to fight with those who have chosen not to listen, but to talk openly with those who want to listen and change things and come to compromises. 

We all need to be more open on becoming those people who are open to talking, coming to a compromise and to work together to make the world a better and safer place to live. There is always going to be judgment, hate, anger, and resentment. There are always going to be people who instead of just disagreeing with you and saying it in a polite way, will try to make you the villain. Don’t let them have the power to do so.

I should totally not get this cup 😀

If anything, pity those, who can’t open their minds and hearts for possibilities beyond their noses. And remember no matter who it is. People are just that, people. Whether we are the creation of God, something spiritual that we will never figure out or just purely what Darwin has written about, we are flawed. We are so flawed all of us and there is no such thing as perfection. 

This is a bit different from what I usually write, but I really needed to put this out there. I hope all of us will work to at least improving the harshness of our opinions and views, some that we can open the lines of communication and all live in a world that is more peaceful and less of a time bomb ready to explode. 

What do you guys think? I am sure all of you have a lot of opinions, leave them down below. Just remember openness to discuss will get us further than building a wall of “I am correct I don’t need to listen to what they have to say, and I should curse them just to feel more secure about myself” 

Xoxo Alisa