How well you communicate is an indicator of your personal growth. The better you can connect with others, the more you will want to take on situations that stretch your self-development. The more “on purpose” conversations you have, the more you will seek opportunities to learn and grow.
All conversations come with some level of risk attached. Some conversations, such as an exchange between you and your dry cleaner, may carry little risk. Compare this to asking your boss for a raise or confronting a challenging client where you have at stake, and you’ll realize that higher risk conversations naturally increase your self-growth. The more frequently you engage in “higher risk” conversations the more you’ll feel confident and empowered to act on your own behalf.
Consider these five factors of effective communication:
Intention: Communicating with an honest and true intention is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll need a great deal of self-awareness to notice if your intention is purely for your own gains even if it is shrouded beneath the cloak of helping others. Consciously observe your conversations for a period of time and notice your true intentions.
Empathy: Much has been said about the ability to be empathic or the ability to vicariously experience the feelings of another. The truth is that without this component communication becomes hollow and lacks energy. It is the energy of empathy that promotes self-growth. Truly empathic exchanges can provide new insights and isn’t that the basis of personal growth?
Confidence: The ability to rely upon yourself, to own all that you know and to own all that you don’t, is the basis of self-confidence.This type of pure self-assurance is not “knowing it all” but rather the inner strength to declare what you don’t know but are willing to learn. The confident person says “tell me more.” The more you learn and put to good use the more you escalate your own development.
Engagement: Though engagement is a common business buzz word today with respect to involving employees, engagement is the key to avoiding misunderstandings. In a conversation it is more than active listening. It is the ability to integrate the interpretation of messages between parties. Your message may sound different in your listener’s mind than your intended message and vice versa. Engaging your listener means both holding their attention and interacting like a set of aligned gears.
Patience: It takes time to develop effective communication just as it takes time to develop personal growth. It takes fortitude to become proficient at handling difficult or higher risk conversations. Allow yourself the freedom of patience.
Take the challenge and increase the frequency of conversations that have more at stake and enjoy the rewards of becoming a more confident communicator.