Improving your communication skills

Sometimes, improving communication skills in a relationship or any association between 2 or more people may feel like a big, overwhelming task. But it is something that has to happen because it makes every single part of our relations with people better. 

☑ READ: why communicate?

A good place to start is to understand the importance of communication. So, here are some reasons why i feel communication is essential;

    Importance of communication

    1. IT HELPS STRENGTHEN RESPECT; Effectively communicating allows all parties involved to develop their respect for each other. The idea is simple: People are emphatic. They can understand on a very subtle level when something's wrong. So being able to speak up helps improve respect for each other.

    2. IT TAKES GUESSWORK OUT; I think this is one of the biggest benefits of honest communication. A healthy connection with someone doesn't come from withholding and remembering a string of lies. It comes from being transparent with them. Learning how to improve communication skills means you can go about your business,  never having to worry about getting "found out". Your relationships become simpler, leaving all involved less stressed, and ultimately, happier.

    3. IT HELPS AVOID MISUNDERSTANDINGS; Sometimes we miscommunicate. Other times, we forget to say things that are important, and things become messy. Communication helps prevent misunderstandings - it's as simple as that. When we express ourselves, fewer things go unsaid. We become used to explaining concepts and ideas in a way other people understand.

    4. IT BUILDS TRUST; Trust is one of the factors in every relationship or affiliation that is both important and more than a little time consuming. Without an ample amount of trust in the person you're dealing with, the relationship could never breathe enough to be able to grow. Better communication leads to more trust, obviously. And better trust leads to more confidence. Effective communication techniques helps make all those involved feel secure. Without that, in my opinion, it would be hard for any relationship to prosper.

    5. IT'S GOOD FOR YOUR MOOD; One of the greatest gifts in any relationship is being able to express your genuine happiness to someone. When a person is genuinely happy and has someone or some people with whom their communication is sound, their happiness can be like an echo chamber. When you're happy about something in life, honest communication  allows us to express our emotions. And when we do that, the elation feed into all parties involved.

    I don't know about everyone else, but for me, communication is one of the biggest keys to a successful relationship with ANYONE. These conversations can be stressful, but they need to happen. Now, let's dive in to some tips I feel may help to improve effective communication; 

    Tips that may help you improve effective communication

    - LISTEN WHAT THE OTHER PERSON HAS TO SAY; I don't mean just act like you're listening, either. I mean really listen and hear what they're telling you. Try to understand what they want and how they feel about the issue being discussed. I have a bad habit of interrupting people when they speak, and I've realised that it doesn't make for a healthy discussion(and that should be the goal, isn't it? Making every discussion a healthy and effective one). Learn to give people the floor, and wait for your turn to speak. It'd help a whole lot. More than you could ever imagine.

    - FOCUS ON THE SUBJECT AT HAND; Try not to bring up past mistakes or issues, as this may only spark an argument. You may choose a different time to talk about these issues in a less antagonizing way too.

    - APPROACH THE SITUATION CALMLY, AND DON'T ATTACK THE OTHER; It's hard to be calm sometimes and I understand this. But, attacking the other person(s) will only put them on the defensive. And the conversation may end up achieving nothing.

    - TALK IN PERSON; Sometimes, when something is really heavy on your mind and needs to be expressed as soon as possible, this may be easier said than done. Waiting until you are face to face makes the situation so much easier because you can physically see and gauge the person's reactions and not just act based on assumptions.

    - NEVER ASSUME; It's super easy to get worked up in your own head about something, but never actually reach out to the other person(s). I feel like people do this a lot and it's tiring to see. Assumptions usually lead to misunderstandings and even hurt feelings in the process. Never assume you know what they're thinking. Reach out instead. 

    - RESPOND; There are times when you may be on the receiving end of the convo, with the person trying to reach out to you. Be there to meet them. It helps the other person know exactly what you're thinking and not jump into hasty conclusions that would only further complicate things. You just have to "talk the talk". No one is telepathic and they can only know what you think/feel if you TALK. If they were telepathic, there would be no reason to have the conversation, would there?

    - ASK OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS; For example, instead of asking a yes or no question like "Did you have a good day?", an open-ended question like "How was your day?" would perhaps produce a more detailed answer. Yes, they may respond with a brief non-answer like "good", "fine" but it gives them an opportunity to share more if they choose to.

    - SET ASIDE TIME TO TALK; It's usually not a good idea to have a serious conversation when one or all parties are upset or in a rush. If there's not time to discuss it properly, don't bring it up. Just pick your timing. A time without interruption from other people or disturbances like phones and all that.

    - THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY; Be clear about what you wish to communicate. Make the message clear so the other person doesn't misunderstand. Basically, don't mince your words.

    Remember that you don't have to be right all the time. And don't forget to accept responsibility for your own feelings.


    Communication is such a huge part of our everyday lives. When done correctly, it helps us understand how the other person is feeling and what they're thinking. 

    Ultimately, communication is a skill, which means there's ALWAYS room for improvement. But I will finish by saying that not all conversations work. You can't always get into them or out of them the things you want. However, crucial conversation skills improve our chances of getting results and building and preserving relationships!

    Writer: Abiayi Angel .N

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    1. So true!!
      Well, I think communication should actually come from both sides to keep it going but I guess a lot of people fail to understand that!!!