Hey guys, following my wife, Adanna’s contribution to the series in the past few weeks, I thought I’d hop on here and chat to you about the importance of communication and how it can make all the difference in improving your personal life and any relationships you might have. Between if you haven’t read any of her features, then do well to catch up here. Now guys, let’s get into today’s topic.
What is Communication?
For me, communication means being able to articulate and express yourself in a manner in which others can understand. Going by this definition, it’s hard to see how anyone can function without communication as our very survival as humans depend on it. In your day to day life, you’ll need it. Either in your place of work or school or your household to get by.
Communication doesn’t just mean using words to express yourself, your actions can be very telling too which is why our words need to match if not compliment our actions. It is important to bear this in mind in order to avoid sending mixed signals. Considering this, we can use communication to our advantage especially given the fact that we have control over our words and actions. Below are some important things to consider when communicating.
Understand Your Recipient
The way in which you communicate will most likely differ from person to person when it comes to the recipient of the message. It is your job to understand the person on the receiving end of your message to the extent that you can somewhat preempt their reaction. Chances are the way you speak to your parents and act around them will very much differ from the way you speak to and act around your close friends.
For example, if you come from a household where respect is a key factor, you would take that approach when speaking to your parents and might adopt a more casual approach when speaking to your friends. Likewise, if you find yourself in a relationship, you need to have a good understanding of your partner’s character and personality to know how to approach them in a manner in which you can get your points across. Say, for example, if you know your partner is usually focused on the task at hand when working and they are rarely open to distraction, you’d want to save any important/key conversations to a time when you know they are no longer in work mode and will listen to what you have to say, to avoid your message getting lost.
Listen and Act on Feedback
You must be willing to also listen because communication isn’t one-sided. Listening allows room for dialogue and feedback which can improve the conversation at hand and lead to positive results.
For example, if you tell your partner that you would like to go on a couple of family vacations every year, and they respond saying you both can’t afford it, it is important to take in what they’re saying and then follow up with a response. In this instance, you can accept it or ask why. If they then come back to say because we don’t have enough savings, you both can then discuss the pros and cons of why a family vacation might do your family some good and ways in which you can adjust your current spendings to save for it. Whatever you end up deciding following the conversation, you both have to be willing to commit to it with your actions.
Keep The Lines Open
Finally, it is very important to keep the lines of communication open so that people know that they can approach you just as much as you approach them. Of course, you have to consider your personal boundaries while at it, so you don’t risk people invading your privacy. Keeping the lines of communication open means that you’re happy to engage with the conversation. It manifests more in your attitude/body language.
Communication is a great way to express yourself. While doing so, you must consider your recipients, at the same time listening and taking on feedback as it is just as important as expressing yourself because communication is a two-way street. Remember to keep the lines of communication open while taking into account your personal boundaries as you can control the way you express yourself but you have no control over others. Communication is the greatest asset one can have to foster any relationship.