How To Communicate Effectively With Others: The Definitive Guide


Want to know how to communicate effectively with others? Then you’re in the right place.

The activity we do every day is to communicate with other people. We do it at work, at school or in other places. We also make friends who can be useful in business or other activities. Whether we establish a good relationship and whether listeners understand us depends on our communication skills. How, then, communicate more effectively?

Interpersonal communication is a kind of ritual. For this ritual to be carried out efficiently, it is worth paying attention to several important aspects that can improve this communication. Often, we are unaware of the mistakes we make as interlocutors and speakers, and thus our message may be badly received – the recipient may not know what we are really talking about and what we want to communicate in this way. And it’s no wonder that instead of listening to us and rethinking what we just said, it “turns off” or withdraws from the conversation. So what do you do to prevent it from happening?

How To Communicate Effectively With Others:

Above all, it’s good to know what you want to say . It is obvious and simple, but it is not quite so. If it were simple, nobody would have any problems with passing on information or understanding of another person. Therefore, it is worth first thinking about what you want to say instead of saying ” what saliva will bring to your tongue”. The content that is logically arranged and has some reasonable continuity is best perceived by the recipient – which should not come as a surprise.

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Our minds like to have everything arranged, also the way of communicating content is more convenient for them. This is a kind of comfort, because during conversation and listening there is a different situation than, for example, reading a book. By reading, you can return to the read sentence or chapter repeatedly to better understand it. This is not the case when listening to speeches or in ordinary conversations. Of course, you can ask the speaker or interlocutor to repeat what he just said.

If this happens once, it will pass. However, doing it again and again will make no sense. Both sides simply torment. For this reason, you should respect the recipient and think about it, what you want to say. I suspect that it is also better for you if the person you are listening to speaks in a way that is understandable to you. You will probably admit that it is quite a challenge to capture the meaning of the speech and to understand someone who jumps from the thread to the thread and these threads are not related to each other. Utterances, too much crowding of information for once and confusing content are not conducive to either the interlocutor or the recipient. So I encourage you to think like a recipient. It will only benefit.

Perhaps you will ask now: What to do when we do not have time to prepare our speech or answer? Yes, it often happens that we do not have the comfort to think about it. In particular, our everyday conversations are usually spontaneous, unplanned, and improvised. You can spend a second or two thinking about the answer or what you intend to say to someone. It will always be better than “firing like a cannon” . It is better to think about it than to regret later. If you want to communicate more effectively, it is more reasonable to have that in mind.

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And what else to do to improve communication? Adapt to the recipient . What does it mean? Once you have an idea of what you intend to convey and it is arranged in a sensible whole, you should go a step further; you should start speaking “the language of the recipient”. I will explain this on a hypothetical example. You are doing some scientific venture and you want to interest him a friend or a friend to get his / her help. However, this close person does not know too much about the field you do. The person’s interests are completely different from yours.

How do you think, if presenting this person with a vision of the entire scientific enterprise, using a vocabulary specialist for this field, will it help you to interest her? Doubtful. For this person your message will sound strange. Why? He knows you from a different side, as a friend / friend, not a “professor” , and to speak to her with professional and largely incomprehensible scientific vocabulary will be something unnatural to her. For her it will be a simple “gibberish”.

Little chance that he will understand you, and he will help. In this case, a more reasonable solution is to match the content to the recipient. Give up professional vocabulary and use “language”this person. Change the content – which apparently sounds like a device instruction in Chinese – to one that is more friendly. Ask yourself the trouble and learn a bit more about the field that this person deals with. And so choose vocabulary to refer to concepts known to your recipient, not only you.

For example, when talking about your venture, you can use vocabulary from that person’s field and give it an idea, as if it were, if it would carry out a similar venture in its field. It will then be understandable and even close to her, because the transmitted content resonates with her interests, way of thinking and what she does. In addition, your friend / friend also expects you to speak as a friend, not a “professor”. Certainly, you prefer to feel at ease, and not like a lecture. Also in such a situation it is good to talk like friends and match the content to the recipient. This approach increases the ability of the recipient to understand your message. This, in turn, brings benefits in the form of mutual understanding. You do not wonder if the interlocutor understood you and the interlocutor does not wonder what you really meant.

As part of completing the above words I will use a few more examples. A politician who wants to win the favor of potential voters must ensure that the people he speaks to understand and vote for him. In that case, he will speak to the farmers differently, differently to people living in cities, and differently to businessmen. Speaking to farmers, he will not use business vocabulary and vice versa. A speech to businessmen will probably not include such words as: harvest, harvest or cultivation, etc. Imagine a speech to businessmen with the following words:

Taking care of it as our own crop, we can raise our economy up and make it grow and bloom like trees and grain. And when this happens, we will all gather a lot of harvest and fill our homes with them . ” This is a simple example. However, it gives a certain picture of what is being said. Perhaps you will agree that such words would not quite reach businessmen? In their case, it would be better to use words such as: profits, money or investments, etc.

I hope that these examples, although not very sophisticated, show how communication with a specific group of recipients should look like. Adapting to the recipient is an important factor in interpersonal communication and should not be ignored. Apply it in your speeches and conversations. If you are, for example, a physicist, and want to convince a biologist something, then speak his language.

Besides, this principle is universal and it would be wise to use it in relationships, family, work, business or any other undertaking. In order for the listener to understand us, one has to put in a little effort and enter into his “skin” , and not expect him to jump into our – it can only end with disappointment. He will jump into ours if we first jump into his. Remember this because everyone will benefit from it; You and your recipients.

The next activity, which I will describe here and which is an indispensable element of interpersonal communication is body language- non-verbal communication. This is a vast topic, so here I will limit myself to a general explanation of what’s going on. Facial expressions or gestures during speeches and conversations accompany us constantly. Sometimes they are more expressive and sometimes less. Regardless, however, they are a constant element of interpersonal communication. Talking about something funny we usually have a smiling face. Speaking of problems, we are sad. A live telling about something, we can vigorously gesture with hands etc. In many cases gestures and facial expressions occur naturally.

After all, you can take a closer look at yourself and see if sometimes it does not overdo it. For example, excessively violent gesticulation with hands may give a slightly negative impression. It’s as if someone wants to talk about something or something. However, a man is not a harvester or other machine to quarrel with something. Violent gesticulation when discussing something nice or trying to calm people will result in the opposite of the intended one. It’s good to work on gesticulation and make it relevant to the content you’re giving. The rest of the body is similar. If, for example, when discussing a business plan, the body rocks like in the wind, it will look comical, like an unsuccessful dance. The potential listener will scatter it, because it will not be in harmony with the content being conveyed.

For this, as if the proverbial salt pillar in attempts to entertain the audience would not bring the desired effect. Laughing when talking about a tragedy or a sad face when announcing happy news will not be together. Therefore, pay close attention to your own body because it also speaks. This is a topic that you must necessarily get interested in. Why is it so important? Body language in 55% affects the reception of the message, voice in 38% and words in 7%. Something to think about. Will you agree?

Since I have already mentioned the sound of the voice. With the voice it is like with body language. The better suited to the message, the better the content is absorbed by the recipient. Nobody, after all, will entertain the public with a joke, telling him with the voice of the hypnotist. The monotonous and steady tone of the voice lulls the audience and instead of laughter you will hear snoring – which some might even fall into a trance. The hypnotist deliberately uses such a tone of voice to create a drowsy effect.

For a comedian who wants to make the audience laugh, using a sober tone of voice is not advisable. It will not be different when sharing good information. Announcing them in a sad voice, the recipient may get the impression that this information is not good at all. The recipient will sooner pay attention to the tone of the voice, rather than the content itself. Remind yourself what was written above: the tone of the voice in 38% affects the reception of the message and the words only in 7%. The modulation of the voice, adapting it to content and its tempo play a significant role in interpersonal communication and taking this into account would be reasonable.

Screaming at attempts to calm someone down, a monotonous voice proclaiming something funny and joyful sad etc. are just some examples of inappropriate use of the voice. Tempo also matters. Speaking quickly and loudly or quietly and slowly when it does not fit the situation and content will certainly have a negative impact on the reception of the message. Think about what listening experience the recipient would have if the commentator of the exciting football game spoke quietly, slowly and consistently about what was happening on the pitch. Some would probably sleep, and some would turn off the sound on the TV and watch the game without sound, not to fall asleep. Or the opposite situation. At the workshops of meditation and quietness, the speaker screams, is loud, speaks quickly and makes a noise. There is no need for silence and concentration for such conduct at the workshops, but the clamor has crept in. So I suggest adjusting the voice, tempo and loudness of the voice adequately to the situation and the content being conveyed.

In my opinion, the four elements described above, which help to improve interpersonal communication, are key. Awareness of what one wants to say, matching the recipient, body language and voice can and certainly will contribute to building better relationships and better understanding. Take care of it and you will experience serious changes in the way you communicate. Of course, the subject of effective communication will not be described in one article, so I recommend reaching for literature and video materials in this field. They are very easily available and will be an indispensable help for those who want to develop in this area. Let your communication skills soar up!