Does the thought of talking to people make you break out in hives or break out in song? Some of us are coping with issues that make it harder for us to communicate.
For instance, if you have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) it can be hard to focus on a conversation. Even those who are hard of hearing will find these tips helpful when communicating.
1. Ask questions to keep your mind engaged in the conversation. Do so with an enquiring yet friendly tone.
2. Take notes. When talking to someone on the phone, get out your pad and paper. It will help you to stay focused on the conversation.
3. Practice conversations will give you confidence for when you are in larger groups. Use the opportunity, when you are in smaller groups to practice.
4. Hold eye contact when talking to people as much as is naturally possible. You’ll be less likely to start drifting away.
5. Ask the person to repeat if you didn’t understand. Whether you didn’t understand or didn’t hear what the person said, don’t let embarrassment stop you from staying in the conversation for as long as you want to be a part of it.
6. Inform those that you talk with often about your ADD, or hearing difficulties. When talking to people that know your situation, they will be less likely to get frustrated or annoyed at having to repeat things.
7. Learn to relax. If necessary, remove yourself from a situation for a short time to do some deep breathing. Clear your mind before coming back into the conversation.
8. Learn to read body language. Learning to read someone’s reactions to you will help you understand the feelings behind the words they are using.
9. Repeat back what the other person said. If you’ve misunderstood it gives them a chance to re-phrase what they said. It also tells them that you are listening and participating in the conversation.
Sometimes talking to people can be stressful. If you are having a bad day, realize that you might not communicate at your best. Take a few deep breaths and count to 10 if you feel your frustration levels climbing.
Remember, it’s not the other persons’ fault. Use the golden rule and show them the same courtesy you would like. Besides, if you are having an off day, it might be a good time to speak less and listen more.
You’d be surprised how many people are left with good feelings from a conversation where you said very little and they did most of the talking! The reason they feel so good about it, is that you paid attention to them. Next time you aren’t in the mood to talk, practice your active listening.
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: how to communicate