How to communicate better?


Aashkaa Nair

Mental Health Writer

The word “communication” is used anywhere and everywhere today. Be it an office, school, college or even a relationship, this word comes with its own importance and consequences.

As per the Google definition, the imparting and exchanging of information by speaking, writing or using some other medium is referred to communication. In simple words, we can refer to communication as talking to people through a medium.

The need to communicate

We need to communicate with people in our day to day lives to share our thoughts and feelings. Communication can also be related to work, projects or assignments. People need to communicate with each other because we are a social species and have depended upon communication to survive for thousands of years. For several such reasons, communication becomes very important aspect in our daily lives.

The importance of communication

Communication facilitates planning. Any type of organization can be controlled with appropriate and effective communication. With the help of

communication, a manager can win the confidence of his/her subordinates as s/he will come to know about the opinions, advice and decisions of his/her co-workers. Communication also helps us in developing good human relations.

When people exchange their thoughts and perceptions with each other, it helps them understand each other better. An effective communication system ingrains confidence amongst subordinates and employees which ensures change in their attitude and behaviour.

Problems in communication

Now we come to the crux of the topic. As human beings, it is extremely normal and natural to have a stumbling

block while communicating. Some of the common problems we face while communicating in any relationship can include:

1. Yelling or shouting:

When we spend a lot of time or sojourn with someone, we're probably going to end up raising our voice. This might be at our work place or even at home. Such behaviours can lead to simple arguments turning into fights.

2. Giving the silent treatment:

The silent treatment is ironically one of the most dangerous forms of communication. It may seem as a good idea at that time, but research shows that using this treatment is barely helpful. In fact it can result in further misunderstandings.

3. Making assumptions:

Making assumptions is something which naturally comes to us humans. We often assume certain things about people which might not be the most appropriate thing to do. The lack of communication leads to an augmentation of judgements towards other people.

4. Unrealistic expectations:

This is a major issue in all relationships. Unknowingly, we start expecting certain things out of certain people just on the basis of their personality. This again dwells from the lack of communication. Instead of asking what the other person wants or feels, we simply start expecting them to do certain things which we want them to do.

5. Hiding our feelings:

Who hasn't hidden their feelings? Hiding or suppressing feelings has become a part and parcel of our lives. Hiding important feelings from others and then feeling bad about it isn't the best way for resolution.

How to improve communication

Now that we know what are some of the problems faced by us while communicating , we must know how to cope with them too. Here are some strategies which we can incorporate in our daily routine for effective communication:

1. Listen, listen and listen!

The key to a healthy conversation boils down to listening effectively. Listening to the other person can give an idea about his/her thoughts, perceptions and feelings. Once we have an idea about that,we can go about the conversation smoothly without hurting the other person's feelings as we would know what and how to talk.

2. Show gratitude:

A great way to build a healthy relationship is by showing gratitude towards the other person and thanking them for whatever they have done for us. This can include saying thank you to our parents, friends or even your boss! Expressing our gratitude towards the other person, would make them feel valued and respected.

3. Pick timing wisely:

There are times when we just have an urge to talk to our fellow mates or partner. It is important to consider the schedule of the other person. Let’s not approach someone while they are busy or they are annoyed. Pick a time where the person is free and is in the correct mood and mindset to understand what we're saying.

4. Be mentally present:

Have we experienced times when the other person is speaking but we're not listening? Being mentally present for someone can be more important than being physically present for someone. Human beings have instinct which help them know when the other person is actually interested in listening to them or is faking it. Hence, just being physically present for the person isn't the best way to enhance communication.

5. Be honest, flexible and open:

Saying what we actually want to can be difficult at times. But walking away from an argument can be a temporary way to solve it, however it is susceptible to further damage. Being open and flexible while talking helps in creating a safe space for the individual to open up and be themselves.

Communication either makes or breaks most relationships. Hence, being actively present in all of our social settings can be a great way to become an effective communicator.

View more content by Aashkaa Nair

Rohit Chopra
Amazing structure and content Aashkaa!! Communication plays such a great role in today's world, whether it is in personal or professional life. The ability to express our thoughts clearly is one of the most important skills!