We have dozens of conversations every day but how many of those feel like genuinely meaningful interactions? In an age when we are more likely to communicate digitally rather than face-to-face, we often miss out on building real connections and can find ourselves struggling with uncomfortable small talk in the real world.
Chatting with friends might be effortless but it’s not always that easy when it comes to work colleagues or clients. Even when we have a close emotional connection with someone, such as a partner or family member, we have to work at ensuring we communicate effectively.
We’ve put together some simple tips to help you have more meaningful, empowering and memorable conversations – no matter who you are talking to.
1) Listen holistically
The most important part of a conversation is listening. Listening isn’t just about using your ears! To really listen, we need to tap into four senses and absorb what the other person is saying, rather than just hear the words.
Visual – observe the non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and gestures
Auditory – listen to the words carefully, think about the context behind them, and the meaning for that person.
Kinaesthetic – consider what feelings the person is experiencing at that moment. What is happening to their energy? Tune in and feel the emotions in what they are saying.
Intuition – this is our ‘6th sense’, and one we don’t use very well. Listen to your gut instincts and be guided on the bigger picture.
2) Be Curious
Ask open questions and avoid giving advice. Too often we are busy waiting for the other person to draw breath, so we can jump in and add our point. That means we’re not really listening and may often miss the full scale of what is being said,as well as subtle non-verbal cues.
With a curious mind, you will learn to ask more questions and make fewer assumptions about what is being said. This will greatly improve the flow of conversation and ensure you are paying attention.
3) Be Non-judgemental
Try not to judge someone for their views or how they are feeling. You may not agree with them but you don’t always know the circumstances which have led them to that position. When you come from a place of compassion and understanding, communication improves.
Don’t push your views onto the other person. Use questions to find out more about their perspective and keep an open mind – that way you can generate open discussion rather than defensiveness.
4) Gain Clarity
We often make assumptions about what people know and understand, so we miss out detail and important background information. Check your understanding often throughout the conversation by paraphrasing what the other person has said. This gives them a chance to correct any misunderstandings and also demonstrates that you are actively listening to them.
Make sure you pause to allow time for information to be processed by each person and to formulate your thoughts.
I can help you develop your confidence and communication skills to build stronger connections and improved collaboration.
Contact me to arrange a free 20-minute discovery call 07935 976636 www.enlightminds.co.uk