2Good CommunicationGood communication is an essential tool for life. In Module #2, we spoke of the importance of good communication during an interview.Being able to effectively communicate can allow you to achieve better relationships in business, with family, and with friendships.Although good communication entails many aspects, for this module we will focus on two areas:First – your Communications Skills or how you deliver information.Second – your Listening Skills or how you receive information.
3Communication SkillsChoose your words wisely. Ensure the words you use to communicate represent what you truly feel. A good rule of thumb to remember …“It is not what you say, it is how you say it.” Think before you speak. Refrain from using curse words or words that attack. Use words that explain what you feel and are trying to communicate.Understand people have different perceptions. Just because you tell someone something does not mean they understand what you are trying to communicate. To ensure that you are understood you must ask questions. The right questions will ensure you both have the same perception.Have the right Attitude. When you communicate, you are going to deliver with one of three attitudes: Passive, Assertive, or Aggressive.
4PassiveWhen you choose to communicate Passively in a conversation, you communicate by not saying a word. You are allowing an action or a comment to stand. For example:You are eating lunch with a co-worker and your co-worker begins to eat french fries from your plate.In this situation, you may choose not to say anything (remaining passive). However, be mindful that when you choose to remain passive, it also communicates that the action may be repeated in the future. If you do not mind sharing, then choosing to remain passive is a correct action. If you mind sharing, then choosing to remain passive in this situation is a incorrect action choice.
5AggressiveWhen you choose to respond Aggressively, you communicate mostly from assumptions and primary feelings. Words are usually not chosen wisely, you may curse and you may be perceived as a threat.In RARE cases, an aggressive response is appropriate. For example: if you are in a life and death situation, and you are defending yourself. However, in using the co-worker example as before, responding aggressively would NOT be an appropriate action. It would not be appropriate to curse and yell at your co-worker for their innocent assumption. NOTE: An aggressive response is RARELY appropriate.
6AssertiveAn Assertive response is usually the most appropriate choice to make when trying to communicate effectively. In assertive communication, you care enough to take the following steps:Stop and think;Take the other person’s feelings or circumstances into consideration;Choose your words wisely, and;Share how you feel.In the example of the co-worker, an assertive response would be to say, “I would prefer if you would not eat my french fries, please.”
7Listening SkillsRepeat what is said. When someone is giving you information that is important, repeat what they have said. You can respond with, “If I understand you correctly, you want…”. This will not only show them you were listening, but will also ensure that you remember what was said to you later. Write it down. One of the most effective ways to listen is to write down what is said. You will find that you remember better when items or parts of conversations are written down.Listen with your heart. Honestly caring about what the other person is saying, will help you listen more clearly.
8Listening SkillsMaintain eye contact and provide non-verbal cues. Maintaining eye contact with the speaker will help you pay attention. As well, acknowledge what they are saying with a nod or a one word response (for example; “yes” or “right”).Avoid outside distractions. If someone wants to talk with you (whether business or personal) turn off your phone, your radio, and your TV. This will ensure they have your full attention.Ask clarifying questions. If in listening to someone speak, there are points which are not clear, ask questions. However, you may want to write down your questions until after they are finished speaking.
9An Effective ListenerIt has been said that there is a reason why we have TWO ears and just ONE month. To become an effective listener, open your ears, control your speech, and open your heart.Remember, there is a difference between hearing someone and truly listening when someone speaks. Applying good listening skills will teach you a lot about yourself and others in the process.
10Start EarlyGood listening skills begin early. To better prepare your children for life you must begin to teach your children good listening skills early. Good listening skills will also prepare your children to eventually succeed in the workforce.When you tell your child to do something, ask him/her to repeat your instructions.Teach your child to maintain eye contact when talking to or listening to someone.Read out loud to your child and then engage them in a conversation about what you have read.Engage your child in age-appropriate activities that promote good listening skills (for example: playing a board game and reading and following instructions).
11TestTwo areas important when communicating are communications skills and listening skills.TrueFalseResponding passively in a conversation means that you do not answer any questions when you are asked.Hearing someone and listening to someone are one in the same.
12TestResponding aggressively in a conversation means that you do not choose your words wisely, you make people feel threatened, and you act from primary feelings.TrueFalseMaintaining eye contact, avoiding outside distraction, and writing things down are examples of good listening skills.Once a child finishes high school, they will learn good communication skills.