Building Effective Communication Skills

5 critical communication skills that everyone needs to know.

One of the primary reasons that couples enter therapy is because they don’t properly communicate with each other. Strong communication is the cornerstone of any relationship and can have wonderfully positive effects on all parts of your professional and personal life. If you don’t have excellent communication skills, your relationships can suffer. Friends and family may find you hard to get along with, you may not feel a close connection with your partner, or your colleagues will have a hard time collaborating with you. Being a good communicator takes practice, and it’s not just about speaking well. Many factors make up a good communicator, all that can be learned through therapy and practice. Want to learn more? Read about the 5 critical commutation skills that everyone needs to know to be a better communicator.

Listening: Being an effective listener is the most crucial aspect of being a good communicator. They say that if you’re not listening, you’re not learning. Being a good listener lets you properly advance the conversation and understand your partner’s needs appropriately. Being a poor listener will make your partner, friend, or co-worker feel undervalued and misunderstood.

Non-verbal communication: Eye contact, hand gestures and body language all play an important part in successful communication. If you’re trying to be open to a new idea looking closed off, intimidated, annoyed or distant won’t help advance the dialogue. When speaking, pay attention to stances, hand gestures, eye contact or movements that are deemed too aggressive, or too passive. You’ll be surprised how quickly the tone of a conversation changes when you change your body language.

Empathy: Being empathetic is a difficult skill to acquire. Having empathy allows you to understand the feelings of another person and can go a long way in having excellent communication skills. Telling someone that you know how they feel or get why they made a specific decision can be a great way to let them know you care about their feelings.

Calmness: Staying calm when speaking is an incredibly important skill to learn when trying to become a better communicator. Not loosing your cool when you’re talking about emotional topics is a hard yet incredibly useful skill to master. Keeping calm when speaking will help you work through issues without becoming angry, hurtful or saying something you may regret later.

Feedback: Being able to provide feedback within a conversation is an integral part of being a good communicator. It helps to show the person you’re speaking with that they are understood and appreciated. It also helps distill conversations which can help you and your partner come to a mutually agreed upon conclusion.

Do these skills sound like things that you and your partner could use a refresher course on? Do you think you can improve all of your interpersonal relationships with better communication? If you want to work on building effective commutation skills, talk to your therapist today. They can help you become the effective communicator you know you can be.

Counselling Burnaby Vancouver, Via Counselling & Consulting. Burnaby Counsellor Shari Wood, M.Ed., R.C.C. dedicated to helping clients begin their personal therapeutic journey. A Clinical Counsellor, specializing in helping people overcome self-doubt and build healthy relationships.