We need to effectively communicate every day of our lives. It's part of our social race. We do it with our spouse/partners, our kids, our neighbors, our co-workers, the bank teller, the checker at the grocery store and so on. Communicating is what we do, but we don't always know how to do it.
Studies show that the words that come out of our mouth are only 20% of communication. That means the other 80% is through body language, eye contact and listening. That really means the words you choose to say is only 1/5 of how you communicate.
Listening! You need to listen! That means you need to stop what you’re doing and hear what the other person is saying. You may not agree with what they are saying, but that's ok. Don't interrupt or assume what they mean. Look at them, engage, be an active listener.
Know who you’re talking to. This means that you need to understand how the person you’re talking to relates to you and others. For example; if you have a type A personality, you won't want to spend a lot of time on the specifics or details. They need the basic principles so they can move on. However if you have a more social personality, they need to know that they are important to you. So you will need to take more time with them, ask them how their weekend was and so on. When you can communicate with each of the different personalities in the way that’s best for them, it’s a win win for everyone.
Make eye contact, engage in the conversation and say their name. When we know that the other person is looking at us when we’re talking, we feel important. We know that what we’re saying is being heard. Hearing our own name gives us validation that we are important. Engaging in the conversation shows us that the other person is really listening.
Take time today and practice on your loved ones or co-workers and see what a difference it can make.