Throughout a day we have many conversations. Do you ever leave a conversation wondering what the point was or if the person really understood what you were saying? Do you ever talk to someone who won’t look you in the eye or try to talk to someone who is facing the door ready to head out? It happens! Unknowingly, we get lazy and comfortable and forget to speak clearly while making sure our body language actually matches our words. We are all guilty of communicating poorly at times! It’s an ongoing learning process and takes practice – a lot of it (ask my husband, LOL). Learning how to communicate effectively is a highly valuable skill applicable to all parts of your life (even while you’re exercising). Here are some tips to learn how to communicate more effectively.
- Learn to listen. Really listen. Not just standing there hearing the words, but clarifying what you are hearing let’s the other person know you are actively listening to them.
- Empathize with the other person. As you listen to them, try to see it from their point of view. This will also allow you to be more aware of their emotions – and your own.
- Offer words of encouragement. This helps people feel valued, welcomed, and wanted.
- Think before you speak: focus on what you want to say before you say it. Use clearly spoken words that everyone will understand.
- Use humor to put people at ease.
- Maintain a positive attitude and smile. Someone is watching you. 🙂
- Use body language that matches your words. Smile when your topic is happy, touch someone’s shoulder when something is sad – use your expressions to convey that you’re listening.
- Use eye contact. Look someone in the eye when you are speaking or listening to them.
For fun, I took this Interpersonal Skills Assessment test to see how well I communicated. The survey asks questions related to listening, emotional intelligence, verbal communication, and communication in groups. My total score was a 73% (average). The rest were as follows; Listening Skills (54% average); Emotional Intelligence (81% above average); Verbal Communication (82% above average); Communication in groups (75% above average). Interesting! I need to work on my active listening skills more! Take the test to see how you score on your interpersonal skills. Click HERE to take the Interpersonal Skills Assessment test.
The next time I ask you if you are doing ok in class and you say “I’m ok” while you are struggling to do an exercise and your face scrunches in pain – remember that I see your painful body language isn’t matching your “I’m ok” words. We all want to be tough and do our best, but please know that your best is just that, YOUR best. Please let me know if something doesn’t feel right for you. You can tell me or I’ll watch your face twist all up and ask you again if you’re ok. 🙂 I will in turn practice my active listening skills!