Initially, effective communication is made up of three characteristics: being friendly, precise, and honest. But if it was really that easy, we wouldn’t have the thousands of books, CD’s and courses on the subject, would we?
I’ve always been a talker; it was just my nature early on to be outgoing…my Mother always said, “Keith, you have the gift of gab.” Well, that may be so, but just because I loved to talk, doesn’t mean I did it well. I’ve had to learn, just like everyone else, how to be an effective communicator.
(1) Besides those initial three characteristics, an additional attribute, which establishes a foundation for good communication in business and personal relationships, is self-esteem.
Yup, self-esteem. If you like yourself, you aren’t busy wondering if: you are coming across like a nerd (not a bad thing these days), whether or not your attire is appropriate, whether you have offended this person in the past, if you have your facts straight, or IF a whole host of other things are wrong with you, which probably aren’t.
(2) Effective communication also is based in self-confidence. Confidence comes from a string of successes, which have accumulated, enabling you feel in control and together. Some people look like they were born confident, while the rest of us have to work at it. We have more confidence at certain times and not so much at others, that’s a fact of life. You might have a lot of confidence speaking before a group of salesmen and feel like the proverbial fish out of water in front of a bunch of teenagers.
Communication also comes in a lot of subliminal forms: body language, eye contact, gestures. But, if you concentrated on all of these things you’d never utter a word. Although they are important and will become natural with time and practice, be aware of them, but don’t focus on them.
Have you ever watched a couple of good friends talk? They are very animated, often happy, energized, facing each other, and otherwise, fully engaged in they’re conversation. To communicate effectively, be fully in the moment, listen well and enjoy yourself.
(3) Communication is also about positive, personal energy. When you are energetic you appear more confident and in control. People admire energy and the communication that comes with it. They want to talk to you when you have a positive attitude because it brings energy to the conversation, and they feel better about themselves while conversing with you.
Being a friendly, precise, honest, person with good self-esteem and self-confidence, and a positive attitude in a conversation with your spouse, the guy next door or your boss will change your life. The beauty of this formula is the more you do it, the better you get at it. Remember the old adage, “Practice makes perfect.” It’s true; give it a try.
In the end, it’s just one man’s opinion…mine.
Keith E. Renninson is a motivational speaker and co-author of the popular parenting tool and illustrated storybook “Zooch the Pooch, My Best Friend”. Through the 1990′s with much self-examination, academic study, bicycle racing, and mountain climbing, he discovered a renewed zest of life, which included a love of metaphysics, philosophy, humor, and writing and speaking. As Keith says, “Some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue…it’s all in what you make of it.” You can read more about “Zooch the Pooch” or contact Keith to speak at: http://www.zoochthepooch.com
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