Effective communication is the cornerstone of all our relationships. We need it in the workplace, at home, in marriages and relationships, and with friends and family. Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and even fights. Below are five keys to better communication to help you improve all your personal relationships.
The most important part of good communication is listening. So often, we’re only half listening to what other people are saying, because we’re waiting for our turn to talk. When you’re talking with someone, actively listen.
2. Set aside time to talk
In your most important relationships, you should make time just to talk. It can be daily, weekly or even monthly, but it should be time uninterrupted by other people or cell phones.
3. Address issues right away
Don’t let hurt feelings stew for too long. Once you take some time to cool down, calmly address any problems as they come up. Letting them eat away at you is a recipe for disaster. If you hurt a loved one, apologize quickly.
4. Be honest
No matter what, be honest with the people you love. Even if it’s something as simple as letting them know you weren’t a fan of the dinner they made. You don’t have to be mean or rude about it, but you owe it to yourself and to them to tell the truth.
5. Show your appreciation
When was the last time you told your partner you loved them, for no reason other than it’s true? Or the last time you thanked them for doing a household chore? How about the last time you told a friend how much her friendship means to you? When people are part of our regular lives, it can be easy to just get used to the things they do for us. Make sure to show how much you love and appreciate the people in your life.