Communicating is an art. Being good at it is not something that we are born with. As a newborn babe, you have only one way of getting your message across, and that is to bellow out at the top of your little lungs.
For the first month, your eyes don’t track, and you can’t focus on anything. Smiling doesn’t happen until somewhere between six and twelve weeks according to individual babies.
But as soon as we can see things clearly, we begin to take notice of our surroundings, and this is when we start to become susceptible to outside influences. It’s is the beginning of our journey into learning how to communicate.
Painting a picture in words
We said at the outset of this article that communication is an art form, and just like any type of art, some of us are good at it, and some are not. It is, however, one of the most important things you can do in life. If you don’t communicate well, you will not get your message across, and the chances are that during your lifetime you will never achieve what you might otherwise have done.
Using the right words at the right time is essential. You’ll find that other people will form opinions and judge you by the words you speak. Remember that you are painting a picture in words. It is therefore important to avoid using words that will make others think poorly of you. The use of slang and swear words are the two obvious ones that spring to mind. You should also avoid speaking ill of others.
Knowing how to say no politely and without offence
Many people have a problem with saying no. Sometimes it is not an easy thing to do but like everything, communicated in the right way, your “no message” needn’t offend and certainly shouldn’t make you feel bad.
The other thing which is key when it comes to communicating clearly, is to talk slowly; not so slowly that you drawl out your speech, but no so fast as to make it appear that you are gabbling. If you speak at a moderate pace, not only will you be more readily understood, but it will also seem that you are considering what it is you are saying.
Speaking is the prime way we communicate with each other and enunciating your words clearly will help others to get your exact meaning. But the spoken word is not the only way we exchange feelings and emotions. There is unspoken communication too.
You can also indicate your emotional response or your tacit agreement of disagreement by using your hands and eyes. As with the pace at which you speak, you do not want to use rapid hand motions. This will make you appear as being frantic.
Keeping your hands still at your side, on the other hand, will make you appear still and formal. Steady, occasional hand movements will accentuate what you are saying very effectively.
Your eyes are also an important tool in communication. If you look down or look past the people you are speaking to, you could appear to be being evasive, and it will look to others as if you are nervous. Eye to eye contact will make you seem sincerer and more confident.
Make your life easier
The better your communication skills, the easier your life will be, and this is true both in your private life and your public life. By taking note of the points discussed and employing them when you are speaking to others, you can be surer of getting your message across in a clear, concise and well-meaning way.