Billions of conversations happen everyday in our world – from basic face-to-face talking, to primitive snail mails, personally carried notes and letters, and radio frequency communications, to modern mobile telephoning, SMS messaging, Internet chatting, to even more modern video-conferencing, 3G, 4G and 5G video-phoning experiences. Our world is filled with these communication mediums and devices, yet since the dawn of time, there have always been many communication gaps.
Communication is a two-way (sometime three-way to even 10-way) street, and depending on the medium used, the quality of communication differs. Communication is basically played by 2 important proponents – the speaker, and the listener. These two proponents exchange their positions as their communication develops into a conversation where they take turns speaking and listening. This article was made to help and reduce these gaps so all of us can be better listeners, and eventually, better speakers in conversations that we may partake in. The following are things you have to consider when participating in a conversation.
- Focus. When you start talking to people, it is important to remember that you and the person you are talking to have an obligation to yourselves and to each other, and that is to understand the other. What better way to do this but giving nothing less than your full attention to your conversation partner? Setting aside all other thoughts and concerns outside the conversation or topic should make the path you’re in the best one. Another useful tip is to look your conversation partner in the eye when he is talking. This allows you to really absorb and digest what has been said, and give way to your fuller understanding.
- Never interrupt. There is a very thin line between communication and miscommunication. This thin line, almost always, unfortunately is crossed simply by interrupting the other while he is still in the middle of expressing his mind. It is best to be patient, shut your mouth and open your ears big and your mind even bigger as your conversation partner is talking so you can gather the correct information and be able to respond correctly. Many people fall in the trap of miscommunication and misunderstanding because they try to jump the gun and formulate a response even while the other is still talking. This is a pitfall that only facilitates more negative results more than the good.
- Aim to understand, then be understood. Countless conversations have made their way towards the negative side of communication – miscommunication. This is, in great part, caused by lack of focus, as was shared in the first tip. However, there is one outstanding thing that causes this unfortunate reality – selfishness. In all that we do, sometimes we focus too much on our feelings and black out our eyes into seeing the other person’s feelings or situation. This aggravates the situation of the other side because he feels that he is not understood and further oppressed because of unnecessary offense. One effective way of solving this downward spiral is to swallow your pride, and aim to understand first before you expect the other to understand you. As you mellow down and be more diplomatic, you will realize that your conversation partner will also mellow down and open up to a more peaceful conversation.