As a member of society, you simply cannot function well enough without communication. From personal to academic, passing through the other myriad aspects of life, communication needs to be effective to keep yourself from spending too much time in vain, either stressing out or trying to guess what the speaker’s true meaning was. How can we improve our relationship with another person with a few effective tricks?
Despite common misconception, communication does not consist of only talking. Listen to your partner and remember what they said, the same way you would like someone to listen to you. More than a half of the total of mistakes committed by students in all types of tests happen because they have not listened to the task correctly, and not due to the lack of knowledge. To become a great listener focus on the person who is speaking, avoid interrupting or changing the topic, rather show interest in what they are saying and provide appropriate feedback. Soon you will notice how much more open your relationship has become.
If you feel like your relationship with someone is crumbling, instead of wondering what was meant, or, worse, developing your own version of the story from a few careless words of your interlocutor, directly ask for the meaning. This tip does not apply only to personal relationships, but also to communication in the workplace. In order to complete your task to your best, you need to know what exactly does your professor or boss needs from you. Do not be afraid to ask for details, because they may prevent a future disaster.
You will be amazed to realize how big the role of nonverbal signs in communication is. It may include facial expressions, eye contact, gestures with your hands, posture, walk, the position of your legs and arms and so on. Be aware of the way a person glances at their watch when they talk to someone unpleasant, or how someone rubs their neck when they are embarrassed. At the same time, do not discern particular signs and make hurried conclusions. If someone folds their arms on their chest, they might just be cold, and not closing off the conversation with you. Another point to consider is individual and cultural differences, for example, the thumbs up gesture may represent agreement in the US, but be offensive in other countries.
Keep Stress in Check
When we are angry, tired or worried we might easily miscommunicate with other people. Any detail can make us explode like a lit match in a factory of dynamites. When you know you are on the edge, make big pauses and collect your thoughts before talking. Focus on making yourself as clear as possible and never raise your voice, as it will only lead to conflict. If you are mad at a teacher because of an unfair evaluation, better to reason with them and explain why you deserve a higher mark, then use passive-aggressive means to prove a point.