What is communication?
Transferring information from one location, person, or group to another is the act of communication.
Every communication has a sender, a message, and a recipient at a minimum. Although it might seem straightforward, communication is a highly complex topic.
A wide variety of factors can influence how a message is transmitted from the sender to the recipient. These include our feelings, the surrounding cultural context, the communication method, and even our geographic location. Nevertheless, accurate, effective, and unambiguous communication is challenging, so companies worldwide place great value on these abilities.
How to communicate positively?
You may start putting the skills you learn about constructive communication into practice right away. While some aspects will require training, you'll quickly master most of them.
1. Avoid using harsh language.
Negative words like "can't," "stop," "won't," "unable," and "don't" incite defensiveness or the impression that the listener has been cornered. Instead, attempt to rephrase statements to put as much of a positive spin on things as you can, even though it won't be practicable to eliminate them. For instance, try saying, "If you can give me two more hours, it'll be on your desk," as opposed to, "I can't complete this in that period." And try stating, "Please clear the coffee cups off your desk before you go home," instead of, "Don't leave the coffee cups on your desk overnight." The first choice in both cases appears to the listener to be constructive and positive.
2. Avoid forceful words.
Using a gentle touch is typically preferable to using force to elicit action. Avoid using phrases like "you have to" or "you must." Giving someone instructions might make them feel reprimanded, defensive, or as if they have no say in the situation, which is a formula for strained relationships.
Try to frame the introduction of a new process, for instance, as something that will help the team. Or present it as a remedy to issues they have identified on their own, presenting it as something they desire. Additionally, remember that using words like "we can" instead of "we should" might sound far more inspiring when speaking to a group.
3. Always present a substitute
Even if the person asking rejects it, providing an alternative might lessen the impact of a "no." If someone asks you to perform something and you are unable to, instead of telling them it is impossible, volunteer to complete the task as soon as you are able and provide a specific deadline in its place. This fosters a welcoming environment and keeps the discourse on track.
Always try to consider their requirements and provide a solution. This is a fantastic ability to acquire, particularly for individuals who find it difficult to say "no." Even though you are rejecting a specific request, it acknowledges both of your requirements. It also gives the impression that you are willing to go above and beyond.
4. Finding the positive side of a negative situation.
You can modify your mood in addition to not using foul language to keep things cheerful, even when in a setting that is, um... more than a little nasty. You may educate your mind to concentrate on minor victories you can bring up in conversation. For instance, you can focus on all the other cases where the client was pleased if they are dissatisfied with the service. You might also mention how it's a chance to develop and learn. Alternately, concentrate on brewing each team member's ideal cup of tea to keep them motivated. Finally, maintaining an optimistic attitude may keep the mood upbeat even when things aren't going well.
5. Be specific.
You must communicate clearly if your listeners want to leave feeling good. A positive message can become complicated and, as a result, negative if it is diluted by unnecessary information. Try to adhere to one idea, or if you have several to cover, go over them one at a time in a logical sequence. Keep the terminology clear and impenetrable as well; else, your listeners will lose interest or, worse, grow irritated.
6. Be helpful.
Positive comments ease the strain. Positivity can be maintained by offering assistance or asking others what they can do to improve the situation. This only means sharing responsibilities, not taking full responsibility. Give the listener a helping hand, and they'll soon be grinning.
7. Set goals.
If a challenging subject needs to be discussed, set the stage before you start. Inform your listener of the conversation's length and topic. This can assist the listener in calming their racing mind and psychologically preparing. Letting a lead know how long the conversation should last will give them a sense of control and assist in quelling any potential tension.
8. Keep your body language positive.
Surprisingly, only 7% of communication is composed of words. Body language, tone, and facial expressions make up the remainder. When you speak to someone, smile, maintain a relaxed posture, and stand upright (in other words, no crossed arms). The same is true when you're on the phone: While the person on the other end may not be able to see you, they can hear when you grin.
9. Keep your stress levels under control.
Having to break bad news or refuse someone is distressing. Unfortunately, feeling anxious might make it difficult for you to communicate appropriately. Additionally, it is contagious: If you are eager, your listener may sense this and become stressed. The good news is that these unfavorable feelings can be controlled.
Spend some time considering your response before the conversation begins. Exercise your breathing and bring notes to the meeting. When you're there, talk slowly (nerves sometimes
cause us to speak more quickly), and if necessary, employ a few stalling strategies, such as asking the individual to restate their question or stating that you'd want a little more time to consider it. Keep in mind that you don't have to have all the answers right away. Requesting a second conversation is very acceptable.
10. Be positive when communicating online.
Whether you're emailing a client or speaking with distant employees, the words you use can significantly impact how your message is received. Most of the advice mentioned above still holds: Pick the upbeat language and rephrase the statement to be helpful. Maintain a helpful and polite tone while providing choices. Along with all this, be sure to pick the appropriate channels for communication to spread your message. For instance, allowing someone to go face-to-face (or over a video call) rather than through a chat app or email will be necessary. On the other hand, a quick comment on your team's chat app is ideal if you're casually checking in on a remote employee to see how they're doing.
In a nutshell, speaking or writing the appropriate words and expressing them in the best way possible can improve unpleasant situations and difficult conversations. Positive communication is, at its core, simply this: It's not about dodging thorny issues or cheerfully delivering bad news. Instead, it is all about reducing conflict and speaking in a way that reassures, inspires, and encourages action. Communication makes you and the person you're talking to feel happy during and after the exchange.
Edited by: Ayona Mitra
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