As you look ahead to a new relationship, it’s time to reflect on your previous relationships and learn from this. One of the biggest challenges is to break away from any old and faulty communication patterns. By becoming an effective communicator, you will also grow and become a better person which will positively enhance all your relationships. It’s a win, win.
Here we share some vital steps to effective communication:
1. Communication should be viewed as an opportunity to create a healthy and trusting relationship with your partner. It is important that we communicate through praise, support, positive reinforcement and honesty.
2. Remember that actions speak louder than words; non-verbal communication usually is more powerful than verbal communication.
3. Define what is important and stress it; define what is unimportant and de-emphasise or ignore it.
4. Communicate in ways that show respect for the other person’s worth as a human being. Avoiding statements which begin with the words “You never …” or “I think you …”.
5. Be clear and specific in your communication.
6. Be realistic and reasonable in your statements. Avoid exaggeration and sentences which begin with “You always …”
7. Test all your assumptions verbally by asking if they are accurate. Avoid acting until this is done.
8. Recognize that each event can be seen from different points of view. Avoid assuming that the other person sees things the way you do.
9. Recognize that disagreement can be a meaningful form of communication.
10. Be honest and open about your feelings and viewpoints. Bring up all significant problems even if you are afraid that doing so may upset the other person. Speak the truth in love.
11. Do not put down and/or manipulate the other person.
12. Try to accept all feelings and understand why others feel and act as they do.
13. Be kind, considerate and respectful.
14. Ask questions and listen carefully. Avoid preaching or lecturing.
15. Do not use excuses. Similarly, avoid falling for the excuses of others.
16. Recognize the value of humour and as it can help you come to a resolution and move beyond the problem.
REMEMBER – PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
These communication skills aren’t going to magically fix all disagreements and conflicts, but using them during an argument can instantly put a stop to it escalating into a major fight and give you a chance of resolving it.
Like anything in life, repetition will embed these skills into your subconscious mind so that they become automatic for you. Good luck.