The Art of Communication

Communication can make or break any relationship. Platonic friendships, workplace associations, and personal bonds – all connections are applicable here.

Communicating well isn’t easy. I’d equate it to a craft – a notion certain folks excel at, while others fumble over proper wording. Good communicators often maintain healthy, almost ‘too good to be true’ relationships. You know, the ones seemingly always happy – or at the very least content – with life. The folks you find yourself slightly jealous of at first.

Trust me. Those folks didn’t get that way by mere chance. They worked for it.

Here are some tips healthy communicators instinctively utilize. With practice and determination, you can become a sound communicator, too! Start by applying the following concepts into your life.

The Art of Communication - Maintain a calm composure

– Maintain a calm, collected composure.

Take comments by others as they come, but face them calmly.

You won’t be doing favors for anyone by abruptly exploding over one 3 word comment. Remember that the best conversations are filled with calm, sound communicators.

Arriving at a simple solution as a group is difficult. This notion rings true for school projects, business endeavors, and family get-togethers. If everyone involved is in a frenzy only concerned about their individual idea, nothing will get done. Time will have been wasted, those involved will be upset, and no promising solutions will have been decided on.

What if one person in that crazed group remained calm? What then?

If just one person remains collected during such situations, the group may prevail. Said person just might be able to lead the group to a worthy resolution. Strive to be that person. Make the effort to remain calm. You just might save your peers from wasting valuable time.

– Learn to listen, even if you disagree.

Remaining attentive towards the ideas of others demonstrates commendable qualities. By listening, you are proving yourself a patient and considerate person. This may be easy when you and your associate share similar viewpoints. But communicating well doesn’t require complete submission.

You will not agree with everyone – that’s merely a fact of life.

Finding yourself knee-deep in controversial topics is difficult. When said experience occurs with close friends and family members, the incident remains significantly worse. Listening in such situations may be strenuous. It may take sincere effort on your part to fully listen when opposing opinions are voiced.

Dig deep and find a way to remain attentive.

Then, once the person talking has finished, follow with your own opinion. Though you may disagree with the group’s feelings on the subject at hand, you will be – or should be – treated with the same respect you previously exerted.

Remember to listen to your peers, friends, and family members. By doing so, you will know how to appropriately respond during conversations.

– Hold your tongue when necessary.

Outbursts are never a good thing – especially when you’re clearly wrong.

This tip remains especially true when a discussion is focused on a controversial topic. Why add more heat to an already burning fire? You aren’t solving anything by responding with a poor argument during such situations. Instead, let your peer(s) finish their thoughts on the subject. Then, respond with a concise, calm statement. Don’t fuel the fire by aggressively counteracting with a ridiculous argument.

Often, I witness unnecessary arguments that continue simply because one person – let’s call him Max – feels his opinion is more crucial than a calm discussion. Max usually illustrates this through a heated outburst, clearly acknowledging he was in the wrong.

Don’t be like Max, guys.

People like Max are not fun to converse with. Nor are they enjoyable to be around. An effective communicator will master the skill of holding their tongue in such situations. He or she will leave unrelated or inappropriate comments out of the conversation.

In turn, you will be left scratching your head, aimlessly wondering who truly had the last laugh.

– Analyze before you speak.

Fully understanding the context of the conversation will help you hone your ideas. If you have time before you are expected to reply, attempt to utilize this tip.

Prior to a peer’s input, you may have already formulated a reply in your mind. But a few words from another may completely disprove or contradict your thought.

Get a grip on the conversation’s full meaning prior to awkwardly bumbling in. You will feel – and be – smarter for it in the end.

Life and its plethora of conversations do not revolve around you.

And nor should they. Communication in itself should be a welcome balance. Think about it. If life and daily conversation centralized around you, life would be boring. Likewise, your close friends and family would find you rather annoying.

Why should you talk only of yourself and your needs? Hear out the ideas and desires of others. In return, you will be provided the same respect.

An excellent communicator makes the effort to understand new ideas. He or she will actively press their peers for information on differing subjects. Learn to appreciate the lives of others. Read articles about topics unknown to you and discuss the ideas with your family.

Converse about subjects not centralized to your life. By doing so, you will be on your way to becoming a sound communicator.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear of your experience with effective – and not so effective – communicators. Which tip(s) should we give the most effort?

— Update: This article has been published at Thought Catalog! Check it out on this new platform. —