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Healthy Habits to Becoming a Strong Communicator

Healthy Habits to Becoming a Strong Communicator

Motivational speaker Paul J. Meyer once said, “Communication—the human connection—is the key to personal and career success.” Much of life, achievement and human relationships is based almost entirely on connecting and communicating efficiently with those around you. Whether you’re in the business world or the nonprofit realm, communication is a critical component of moving things forward and accomplishing your goals. 

However, more often than not, the complex art of teaching and learning communication falls by the wayside. This can result in challenging relationships across every avenue of life. So, what can be done? Fortunately, there are a few ways and practices to grow in your communication skills. Here are healthy habits you can try to become a strong communicator.

 

Practice active listening.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and the whole time you listen, you find yourself thinking about what you want to say next? When it comes to listening, this is often the case. Typically, we only half-listen when someone tells us something. As they talk, we either think about what we want to say next, or we think about a different topic altogether. If you want to be a strong communicator, you must practice active listening. Active listening means sitting up straight, leaning forward and truly focusing on what the other person says. Breathe in their words. If necessary, repeat their words to yourself in your mind to really let them sink in. The better you listen to what the other person has to say, the better conversation you can have.

 

Watch body language.

Approximately 90% of communication is nonverbal. What does this mean for your communication style? It means when someone tells you their thoughts, you should also pay attention to their body language. Body language includes such things as facial expression, arms, hands, eyes and even tone of voice. It often says how the person is truly feeling, rather than just what they say. Additionally, you can also improve your own communication by focusing on your body language. Sit up straight to show confidence, make direct eye contact to show intention in the conversation and maintain a polite and focused facial expression to show the recipient you care about them.

 

Ask questions.

When you ask questions, you show the other person you are truly listening, and you genuinely care about their thoughts on the topic. If you’re not sure about something they mention, repeat your own interpretation of it, then ask if you got it right. Request clarification and ask questions about their thoughts; don’t simply share your own. For instance, “What are your goals with that action?” or “What do you prefer?” are simple, guiding questions which can move the conversation along and demonstrate your interest in the dialogue.

 

Allow for silence.

You know the feeling. One person says something, the other replies and then both of you stand there in awkward silence. More often than not, we really don’t like silence. However, it can be an extremely valuable part of communication. Silence can provide time for both parties to really focus on what the other said, soak in the words and formulate a thoughtful response. Occasional lapses in conversation are completely natural, so don’t worry if there are a few here or there. Natural pauses are as integral to a conversation as the words themselves.

 

Agree with feelings, not facts.

If you’re talking with someone you strongly disagree with, it can be incredibly challenging to keep the conversation from going hostile quickly. So, practice this mantra: agree with feelings, not facts. You don’t have to agree with another person’s opinion in order to have a valuable conversation. But, you can agree with how they feel, empathize and show them you hear their needs. For instance, “You sound hurt. That must be challenging,” is a way to empathize with the other’s opinion without validating their opinions.

Without communication, many of our relationships would struggle. And just like any skill, good communication can be learned, practiced and even perfected. Try out these healthy habits in your everyday conversations in order to become a strong communicator.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Clients & Supporters,

As you may have heard, our office in Pueblo was maliciously vandalized by an unidentified gunman, just after midnight on the evening of June 2nd.

Footage from our security cameras shows an initially calm scene, before what appears to be a man walking by nonchalantly, hands tucked in pockets, suddenly stopping and turning to withdraw a firearm. The gunman then starts dashing, firing shot after shot directly at our storefront.

This person and their weapon have caused immense harm. Financially, the estimated damage exceeds $25,000. The same bullets that shattered glass and pierced through walls have wounded our hearts. However, the cost of this emotional damage cannot be measured in dollars. If there is a silver lining, it’s that nobody was physically hurt - or worse. For that, we’re eternally grateful.

To be clear, this individual and this destructive act, are not linked to the Black Lives Matter movement or protests of any kind. Unfortunately, we believe this anger to be rooted locally in a conflict between a tenant and their disgruntled clients.

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic and riots spurred by civil unrest nationwide, we know things are uncomfortable right now. We know people are upset and hurting. We're hurting too.

As much as it pains us to board up these windows and doors and close our building, we have no other choice but to do so until we can get them fixed. Despite our office being closed, rest assured, we are still working.

While the need for our services grows, so does our need for your support. In fact, we need you now more than ever. Whether it's time or a monetary donation, anything you can do to help us continue promoting healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Southern Colorado is not only sincerely appreciated; it's vital to actualizing our mutual goals as a community. You can make your contribution, securely and conveniently online at https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/donate.html or to submit interest in volunteering please visit https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html.

We want you to know, we will be back, and we will continue to fight for a better Southern Colorado. To get there, more of us need to change. Amidst these changes, one thing will remain certain: our commitment to serving you and the entire Southern Colorado community.

The pain we feel now will pass, just like the time we have with those we love. Remember to take care of each other. If this unprecedented time has taught us anything, it’s that we need each other more than we could have ever known.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

A Message about Our Services in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATED 06/09/2020

NeighborWorks Southern Colorado cares about the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community partners. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending in-person workshops and counseling appointments temporarily. We will continue to provide homebuyer education and counseling services virtually, and you can reach our employees by phone or email. We will not be receiving visitors to our office until further notice.

We are in the process of contacting customers registered for our Homebuyer Education Workshops or scheduled for an in-person counseling appointment to make other arrangements. If you need to reach us, please call (719) 544-8078.

We are monitoring the news closely and taking advantage of this time to do updates and upgrades to our building to better serve you when we re-open; we will post updates about our services to this website. Thank you for choosing NeighborWorks Southern Colorado as your trusted partner and first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.

06/09/2020

Please take precautionary measures... Be safe and stay healthy

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