Tips For More Effective Communication

Communicating effectively is something I struggle with. There are times I wonder if I need to have subtitles or be dubbed. I know from conception we have been doing it. Crying to drink, crying to eat, and wait for it … crying to sleep. We get older and communicate more than just craving. We share complex ideas such as celebrity crushes and end careers with 140 characters (God bless the human race). But more times than not I still find my words misunderstood (like any genius ). Other times ignored like that time I shared a joke among friends and it went unnoticed like a message from an ex, similar to the pleas of the African continent but this post is not about that. So in my attempt to have fewer embarrassing moments I looked and found a cheat sheet. By no means does this turn you into a Martin Luther or Steve Jobs, still it will definitely make some conversations go better.

The first one to consider is the how. How meaning the method of communication. You can do it in person or over the phone or even using drums and smoke (some people are traditional like that). The how is important because it conveys the weight of the conversation. We have all been there, sending ‘LOL’ with a face as stiff as the communist party. But occasionally text is a better way to communicate because it allows someone to process and go back through what was written. Plus it gives me enough time to write and rewrite my reply 1000 times because I couldn’t find the right emoji.

Second is the timing and willingness of the other party to receive the message. We’ve all studied our parents well enough to know when is the best time to ask for something or share some great news( expulsion/bad grades/unplanned pregnancy). It usually is after a favorite meal or paycheck when they are more willing to listen. This applies to everyone. Knowing when to talk about something sometimes outweighs what you trying to communicate. Not forgetting that you also have to be willing to hear what the other person may say.

Lastly, keep it simple not stupid. Some of us distill what we trying to say to caveman language “me mad” and expect someone to magically read what we are mad about. And on the other end, we regurgitate a deluge of information so dense and convoluted it leaves heads spinning like a fidget spinner. Finding a sweet balance to this should reduce the chance of being misunderstood.

This isn’t magic and will take practice. Hopefully, with time we can all communicate more effectively and have fewer embarrassing moments.

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