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Do you find yourself often being misunderstood either at work, or at home and feel you’re not being heard? When someone says things to you, have you really heard what the person has said? Or do you hear what you want to hear?

Below are some tips to make your communication cleaner, so that you reduce the likelihood of being misunderstood and also increase the chances of really understanding what other people are communicating to you.

Say it in person

E-mail is a standard form of communication these days. You use it at work. You’ve most likely got an e-mail app installed on your smartphone. E-mail communication is great. It’s easy and quick. However, e-mails also lack clarity. The contents of e-mails also require contexts exist and to be understood. They also miss real, face-to-face interaction.

If what you want to tell a colleague or friend is very important, go and speak with the person face-to-face, or at least over the phone. It will do wonders to improve your chances of being heard properly the first time.

Ask people if they’ve understood you

When you’ve conveyed a message to a person, don’t hesitate to ask the individual whether he/she has understood you. If a person replies “yes”, then take stock of their non-verbal communication. If they look like they’ve really understood you, you’ll be able to tell.

If you have any doubt the person isn’t getting you, explain it one more time.

Ask people if you’ve understood them

When a person is telling you things, let the individual say what they want to until he/she has finished. After this, say something on the lines of “let me ensure I’ve understood you correctly” and repeat back your understanding of what the person has said.

This type of checking on your part will increase the likelihood you have understood completely what the person has told you, and you can respond accordingly.

Get specific

If someone is asking you for help, it’s important to ask questions which are specific about the issue the person is talking about. Remember to use questions beginning with ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’ and ‘how’.

Why are these types of questions important? We’ll, humans have a tendency to talk at the surface level at times, and also get caught up in how they’re feeling.

Getting to the facts will enable you to respond in ways than can help a person solve a problem he/she is facing, rather than remaining stuck in the emotions of it.

Get other people to help you

This point is particularly important in a work context. If you’re having an important meeting, and you’re unsure about the topic areas, which the meeting will cover, then get another colleague or a team to back you up.

This will help to ensure your colleagues capture anything you might not understand.

Also, if you know a person in the meeting is a gregarious and dominant person, and you’re the opposite, invite a colleague who shares similar traits as the individual to support you in the session.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• In what other ways can we communicate properly to avoid misunderstandings?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks. Thank you.