Two styles of communication

We spend nearly 70% of our time communicating with others. Yet we may have never been taught how to communicate in a way that produces results. We dwell on miscommunication that leads to frustration, resistance, conflicts and breakdowns.

We want some kind of action or response from another person, without letting them know what we really want, or how to achieve it. We want to be understood, yet often fail to check if our communication was successful. We want to be heard and listened to but don’t always concentrate on the quality of our message or listen properly. We want acceptance and agreement from others, so much that we often become consumed with having to be right or to prove our point, instead of co-creating a greater outcome together. We want to understand the message the other person is communicating to us, yet we are lack the patience to listen and digest an opinion before putting forward our thoughts. So, we often pass judgment on the speaker, evaluating the messenger rather than fully accepting the message.

Evolving your communication style requires taking full responsibility for the outcome of each conversation; not only for what you are saying but also for the message the other person is hearing.

Since we all listen and process information differently, it is crucial to uncover and become sensitized to the other person’s style of communication in order to align it with your own.

When two people communicate, they often use two styles of communication. It could be a relationship based communication or a task based communication. If both parties are on the same footing, their conversation would be useful and interactive. Nevertheless should they differ in terms of how and why they are communication, each will perceive the other as being difficult, obstructive or uncooperative and may sometimes unfairly attribute it to a personal animosity. Therefore it is firstly important that we understand the difference between the two styles of communication and ascertain whether it is a task oriented communication or a relationship oriented communication. Good interpersonal skills are assured when a person is able to mix both styles and focus not only on getting the work done but also maintaining good relationships with the other person. The end result in employing tactics suited to this end would ensure successful communication in a manner that is both effective and pleasing.

Avoiding confrontational communication is important at all times. The way we interact could create anger, conflict and damage relationships at the work place and at home whereas cooperative communication would build relationships both at work and at home. Confrontational communication could involve demeaning language, disinterest, superior attitude, unrealistic expectations, unsolicited advice or assurances and lack of old fashioned cordiality. It would also envelop non verbal communication such as attitude and body language.

To avoid conflict either at work or at home, stop using confrontational communication and replace it with elements of cooperative communication. Be conscious and adopt certain tactics to improve your communication. The results would amaze you.

A few hints on improving your communication skills are given below:

Regulate the pitch of your voice to make it lower and more authoritative.

Avoid talking fast. Slow down but not so slow as to allow the other person to finish your sentence.

Incorporate more life into your voice, use lower and higher resonances to highlight your talk.

Make general eye contact. Use gestures. Relax your body as body language plays an important part in the impact you make on others.

Talk clearly. Brush up your vocabulary. Keep abreast of current events. Read, learn something new each day.

Listen wholly. Be actually interested and fully concentrate on what the other person is saying to allow your true responses to follow. Unreasonable conversations could be turned around by careful listening and applying non confrontational communication.

Remember, improving your communication skills will improve your productivity.

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