In our everyday lives, at school, at work or at any day to day scenarios, one of the most important things we have to do in this world revolving around co-existence, is communication. We come across various situations as we go about our lives and every so often, these situations call for us to be approachable and also require reciprocating responsiveness.
It’s quite easy for a socially outgoing person to strike a conversation with a stranger at ease, but for an introvert such as myself, breaking the ice can be a pretty baffling experience. You’re constantly thinking what to say, thinking of the best way to say it, often trying to practice conversation starters and then dreading the fear of fumbling or making a fool out of oneself.
If you could relate to any of the above, then please do know that you’re not alone, and your communication skills can get better with regular practice, regular social exposure and some tricks that I will unveil to you below.
- Listening: I know as basic as it may sound, listening is the first key to effective communication. There is absolutely no doubt about it. If you were to be a one sided chatter box, your receiver would sooner or later, drop out of the conversation, rendering your conversation almost close to worthlessness. Listening is the key my friends, and by listening, I don’t mean hearing in order just to respond, but listening with utmost sincerity, so as to be able to connect to them first , and then respond.
- Acknowledgement: As much as listening is important, acknowledgement goes hand in hand alongside listening. By acknowledging what someone has to say to you, by giving them a nod , or maintaining eye contact with them as they are speaking to you, you give them a sense of assurance that you are actually listening to them, as compared to listening but being occupied with something else. By acknowledgement I mean a complete devoted attention to the one trying to speak to you, without which the conversation may turn out to be, what you can call quite shallow.
- Addressing: This has got to be one of the most important things, one must take care of, while carrying out a conversation with someone. While you address someone by their name, there is a personalized touch to the conversation and it is definitely more impactful than the conversation you would have without addressing someone by their name. For example, consider these two statements –
- “Hey! How are you? How was your day? “
- “Hey Julia. How have you been today? “
Which one of these do you think had more impact? It’s definitely the second one, because addressing someone adds more depth to the conversation.
- Appreciation: This is one great trick to an amazing conversation – Appreciation of the other person. As humans we love to be appreciated, and we like it when we are being told something nice about ourselves. Then next time you try to strike a conversation, say something nice about them and by nice it doesn’t necessarily have to be about their looks, it could be about their personality, or about how energetic they seem today, or how they’ve been doing well at work lately etc. Always works like a charm and this practice can also put them in a comfortable, relaxed place, ending up in overall better dialogue exchange.
- Body Language: Another important factor to a great conversation / dialogue is your body language. How stiff is your body on a regular basis? Are your shoulders tight, are your wrists clenched, are you swaying side to side, or subconsciously fidgeting with something in your hands. These are all signs of poor body language as you are trying to strike a conversation. Every now and then try and get your awareness to your body, breathe and relax. This will put you in a comfortable place before you are ready to go out there in the world and interact with other people. A relaxed body is at a much better position to exchange dialogue with someone, than a body shuddering with discomfort. So attention to your body also plays a very important role in effective communication.
Alright then, that’s all for now! Until next time!