Tips for Effective Communication

Whether you are at work or having fun, it can be frustrating to talk to people who monopolize the conversation. Their attitude toward you can make you feel defensive, angry and hurt, but you don’t have to walk away from the conversation filled with these negative emotions. When you use these tips, you can teach yourself to stay calm and cool when someone refuses to allow you to participate equally in a conversation.

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Listen

If you have a loved one who tends to talk more than he listens, you should still listen closely when he is speaking. When you are a strong listener, you are better able to understand a person’s perspective, which will improve the bond between the two of you. In many cases, a person will become a better listener if he feels that you are truly listening to what he has to say.

Maintain Boundaries

Your friends and family members should not have the same freedoms around you that a co-worker has. As you look at the different relationships in your life, you should set appropriate boundaries. If a co-worker starts a conversation about his personal life, you may need to step away while gently telling him that you need to get some work done. He may simply need someone to listen to his problems, but you need to let him know that you aren’t the best person for that role.

Be Honest

If you tend to bottle up your hurt feelings because you are afraid that you will upset a loved one, try voicing your opinions. You may need to tell your wife that you would prefer to drive to a different vacation spot than the one she has picked out, or you may need to tell your friend that you can’t join her for lunch because you have too much work to do. When you are honest about the little things, you will be less likely to let the hurt feelings flood out of you when you get angry.

If you are speaking to someone who frequently interrupts, you may need to be firm and stand your ground. In some cases, a person may not realize that he is interrupting, and a gentle reminder that you aren’t finished talking will encourage him to let you finish your thoughts. However, some people are more concerned with voicing their own opinions than listening to others. In these cases, it may help to have a stronger response as you let the person know that you feel as though he is not focusing on what you have to say.

Communication is important, but it is not something that always comes easily. These tips will help you open up the lines of communication with your loved ones and co-workers so that everyone leaves the conversation feeling as though they were able to safely express their thoughts.

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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