Effective Communication in Daily Life
Communication is learned, therefore it is always embedded in cultural contexts. We communicate everyday, but learning effective skills can help us to improve our communication.
by Duygu Bräuer
Communication skills are abilities you use when giving and receiving different kinds of information. That is why communication skills are essential in our daily lives.
The communication coach Maike Nordmann points out that we communicate with verbal messages less than we think. Since communication involves both verbal and nonverbal messages, we use lots of ways of communication such as words, clothes, musical instruments, dance etc. Here are some useful tips of effective communication in our daily lives mentioned by Maike Nordmann in her workshop at studierendenWERK:
- How we say something is more effective than what we say. What mostly affects people is our body language. Then comes our voice and lastly the content of our verbal communication.
- When we receive a message during communication, we refine this message through our perception filter. Hence, the crucial message is not the one sent, but rather the one received.
- Communication is never one-way. Every form of verbal and nonverbal communication is both cause and impact at the same time.
- There are emotional and factual levels in communication. Emotional level includes feelings, values and attitudes. Factual level indicates facts, ideas and information. In fact, the emotional level is stronger than the factual level.
- In order to avoid possible misunderstandings, it is important to reflect our interpretation of what we hear in conversations. For example, we can ask these questions for a self-aware reinterpretation: How would I’ve interpreted this message yesterday? Or on a different day? Or with someone else? How would a third person interpret this message?
- A person should know their strengths and own skills to achieve effective communication. Because self-awareness in communication begins with being self-awareness of ourselves.
- The question technique (asking the right questions) is an important tool for effective communication. The formulation of questions is crucial: Instead of asking „Why?“, ask better-formulated questions such as „What is the reason?“, „How is it that…?“, „This is interesting and…?“ It is very useful to have specific questions as well.
- If we have an aim to reach in a conversation, it is important that we understand our communication partner. This is only possible with active and analytic listening. Besides, it helps to think about the possible reactions and replies of a communication partner. Contemplating some questions and formulations of our messages are useful for reducing the misunderstandings and difficulties in conversations.
studierendenWERK BERLIN regularly offers workshops and trainings to improve the skills and knowledge you need in your working life, some of which are specifically aimed at international students.#Good to Know