From the moment we are brought into this world, communication is a part of our life. Communication is our primary means of connecting with other human beings. If communication were just about learning the language of our origin, it might be easy, but it is so much more than words. That is why communicating in relationships can be so complex and sometimes so difficult to master. Communicating effectively takes a lot of practice, but fortunately, it's something that can be learned if you understand the key ingredients.
I like to use the acronym C.O.N.N.E.C.T. to highlight the seven keys to effective communication because one of the main purposes of communicating is to connect with another individual. If you aren't communicating effectively, the conversation and the relationship will disconnect. If you use the following key ingredients, your success in communication will greatly improve.
Being indirect with people is confusing. The person you are trying to communicate with is left to try and figure out what you mean and exactly what you are trying to communicate. There should be no guessing games in communication because people can and will guess wrong. Sometimes it can be scary to be honest and direct with people but with practice, it gets much easier.
There are two key components of listening. The first is learning to acknowledge and validate the other person. When someone is speaking to us, they want to feel heard. They want to know you understand what they are saying and that you care about their feelings. The best way to demonstrate this understanding and concern is to acknowledge and validate.
The second component of listening is learning to listen on a deep level to what another person is saying. Intuitive listening is about hearing more than just the words another person is saying. It's about tapping into the deeper meaning underneath the words. Listening deeply is about sensing the emotions the person is feeling and even hearing what is not necessarily being expressed. When we take the time to deeply listen to another human being, we can connect to their heart and soul. And connecting to someone on a heart level is an amazing gift you can offer another individual.
Pay attention to the energy of other people when they are communicating to you. How do they make you feel? Are you excited about listening or do you want to get away from them? Our energy originates from the thoughts we are having prior to us communicating. If we are thinking positively, we will emanate positive energy. If we are having victim or angry thoughts, that energy will be communicated as well.
Confidence comes from believing in you. You must believe that your ideas, thoughts and feelings are just as important as anyone else's. Fear is the number one thing that gets in the way of communicating with confidence. You may have a fear of disapproval - maybe you believe your listener will disapprove of what you have to say. You could have a fear of making a mistake; perhaps you're afraid of saying the wrong thing or using a poor choice of words. It's possible you have a fear of rejection; maybe your listener will have a negative reaction to what you communicate. Prepare yourself by practicing what you want to say. The more you practice effective communication, the better you will become, and the more confident you will feel.
The purpose of communication is to C.O.N.N.E.C.T. with another individual or a group of people. If you don't connect, your listeners will not hear you or respect you. They will not be motivated to respond positively to your message. Human beings need connection and how we communicate greatly affects our ability to connect and feel like our listeners are connected to us.