The following post is adapted from 52 Communication Tips: Weekly lessons for improving your relationships at work and home
TIP #2: Become more self-aware
Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.
~ George Sheehan
All of us can unintentionally convey messages that we don’t mean. And, people can interpret our messages in unexpected ways. We all have annoying and distracting habits that can get in the way of communicating well. Many of those habits we don’t notice. But, you can bet that others do.
The easiest way to assess how well you are coming across is to be more aware of yourself. Since that’s hard to do on your own, you’ll need to enlist some help to identify if you are communicating clearly, without distracting behaviors, or if you have some communication habits that need changing.
Ask a trusted friend or family member to give you specific feedback on your communication style. Make sure you are ready for honest feedback and pick someone who will be honest, yet kind.
Ask them to respond to the following:
- What do they like about how you communicate?
- What do they notice you could work on?
Ask for them to honestly share one-three things they notice that would make you a better communicator. Maybe it’s talking too fast or interrupting. Maybe it’s an excessive use of “ums”, swallowing or fidgeting. Pay attention to what they share.
Make sure you are open to the feedback and not defensive. Then, thank them, and make a plan for changing the habits you need to change.
If you’d like to have all 52 Tips, you can order the book of the entire collection. It’s a great tool for weekly staff meetings or family dinners to begin to improve your communications skills, one tip at a time.
Betty Lochner is a communication specialist, author, and professional speaker who teaches individuals and organizations how to make small changes that make huge differences in their relationships at work and home – improving morale, confidence and productivity. She is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips. Both are also available on Amazon.com.