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3 Simple Ways to Improve your Communication Immediately

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we are or, as we are conditioned to see it.” Steven Covey

The tricky thing about communication, especially at work, is that the words that we say may not be heard and understood in the way they were meant and the words that we hear and the way we interpret them, may not be meant in the way that we think.

Each of us makes meanings according to our own experiences. Misunderstandings in communication between individuals and teams can occur because the same word or phrase may mean different things to different people.

Knowing that we all do this, is a great first step towards better communication and putting the tips below into practice today, will help you create shared understanding that will take your communication to the next level.

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Here are some ideas:

Instead making meanings from our assumptions, we can seek to understand and clarify what the other person has said from their perspective.

  • When you are having a conversation, really listen to the other person…and this means not thinking about what you want to say next … (we all do this!), rather, try to focus on what they are saying – be truly curious.
  • Clarify to make sure you understand…’you said’…’what did you mean by that’…’do you mean’…? ‘I think I heard you say…is that right’?
  • Ask questions…’can you help me understand?’… ‘I don’t think I quite get it can you give me a bit more information?’…

Once you have sought to understand where someone is coming from and what they mean, you will be able to respond in a way that matches the way they think and see things. As a result of your empathetic communicating they will also be more likely to listen to what you have to say. It’s a win/win for everyone.

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