Effective Communication Techniques

Communication is the ability to express yourself and connect with the surrounding environment. For effective communication, you should:
 Listen Actively
  • Be attentive - concentrate on what is being said.
  • Be impartial - don't form an opinion; listen.
  • Reflect - restating what has been said helps the speaker know that you understand.
  • Summarize - pull together the important messages so that you and the speaker recognize what was important during the conversation.
Nonverbal Messages
  • Posture - let your body show that you are interested in sitting up and leaning toward the speaker.
  • Equal positioning - if the speaker is standing, you stand. If the speaker is sitting, you sit as well.
  • Facial expression - remember that feelings are reflected in facial expressions.
  • Gestures - your body language reveals a lot about how you interpret a message, so be aware of times when you send signals that might cause the speaker to believe that you are angry, in a hurry, bored, etc.
 Express Thoughts & Feelings
  • Be open and honest – a collaboration between two people begins to understand that you trust each other with all information.
  • Speak clearly - don't mumble and don't talk too quietly. If you don't know the word for something, describe what you mean so that you and the speaker can have a shared understanding of your concern or question.
 Communicate without being adversarial
  • Express concerns non-judgmentally - talk about your questions or concerns without blaming other people. For example, you might be angry that your child is not receiving enough speech therapy. Rather than talk about the speech therapist not doing their job, discuss your idea of how often your child should receive this service. Use "I" messages. Rather than say, "You didn't explain that very well," say," didn't understand what you just said. Please explain it again."
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