Ways to Improve Communication

The communication process involves the use of specific skills that you control and that you can enhance. All communication involves either speaking or listening.

Speaking is expressing your thoughts and feelings with clarity and accuracy through words and behaviors so that the other understands your meaning.

Listening is following the thoughts and feelings of another through words and behavior and understanding the meaning of what the other is communicating from their particular perspective.

When receiving messages, listen uncritically to be sure you are really understanding the other person. When sending messages be clear and as specific as possible. Know what outcome you would like. Know what outcome the other person wants. Successful communication happens when you can achieve your outcome and enable the other person to achieve their outcome at the same time, or reach a compromise.

Language is particularly useful as a guide for helping people to assertively express difficult feelings. It is based on a three-part statement:

  1. "When you ___________________"
  2. "I feel _______________________"
  3. "I'd prefer ____________________"

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