Have you ever found yourself in an awkward situation because a conversation you were having suddenly turned sour? Or because it was interrupted because one of the people involved felt uncomfortable or upset? The art of conversing requires a fine balance between content and form. Find below the 10 basic rules to guarantee that all your communications are positive and rewarding.
- Welcome others. In order to start any type of positive communication, welcome others by smiling, greeting them, saying their name or even opening your arms. People will immediately feel more at ease and welcome.
- Accept others the way they are. Remember that your goal is to communicate. If you start focusing your attention on their looks or their attitudes, you might forget the target you’re trying to reach. Try and focus completely on them, on your exchange and on what you really want to communicate to them; only like that will you be able to engage with them and not with the image you have of them.
- Look for something to approve in others. By giving yourself a chance to like your interlocutors better, you will more open and willing, and your communication will immediately turn more positive.
- Focus on the other person and what you want to convey. By focusing on them and your message and not on you, you will be trying to reach them instead of trying to prepare your own answers to what they might be saying. When people devote their energy and effort to prepare possible answers to what their interlocutors are saying, they’re really inside their head, an not truly paying attention to what they’re being told. How can you have a real conversation if you’re missing half of it?
- Express what you want to say and say what you want to express. Our bodies transmit a lot of information, sometimes contradicting our words. Make sure your moves, gestures, tone and message transmit the same meaning that you’re speaking so others don’t doubt you.
- Set your starting point where others are. Start your communication at the point where others stand. If you start further, they won’t follow you. If you start before that point, they’ll be bored and you might lose them. So, before you engage in a conversation, gage where others stand.
- Show them your appreciation. Express your approval by commenting something positive about them, by thanking them for something they did, by letting them know you like them. If you let others know that you approve of them, communication will be easier because they will feel welcome, accepted and not challenged from the start.
- Ask others genuine questions. Ask them what you really want to know. When our questions only aim at filling time or space, others perceive it and feel used. When there’s real interest behind questions, others feel welcome.
- Ask open-ended questions. Ask questions that invite answers. If the only possible answers are yes or no, communication will be truncated. If questions invite longer answers, people will receive them as an invitation to express themselves.
- Don’t interrupt. To maintain a positive flow in the conversation, don’t interrupt others when they’re talking. Wait until they are done. Then express yourself.
Keeping these basic rules in mind will help you enjoy flowing and positive conversations and will clearly improve your communication skills and patterns. They can be used both, for personal and professional conversations and will endow you with a foolproof method to improve all spoken exchanges with others.
Enjoy life… ALL of it,
Jessica J. Lockhart – humanology – www.jessicajlockhart.com
Jessica J. Lockhart is a humanologist, bestselling author and renowned international speaker. Follow her here: