You never know when one kind act, or one word of encouragement, can change a life forever. – Zig Ziglar
When you practice positive communication, people are more likely to listen to you, the conversation goes better, and the results can be transforming.
The following is an excerpt from my book, Dancing with Strangers, and puts the concept to work:
10 ways to be a more positive communicator
1. Think before you speak or act. Don’t just react. Pause and take a minute to think about how you want to respond in an accountable way.
2. Keep an open mind. Don’t jump to conclusions. Every story has two sides to it and somewhere in the middle you’ll find the truth.
3. Discuss rather than argue. Use your active listening skills and shovel any piles that need shoveling. Deal with the issues you need to deal with and be tender on the person and tough on the issue!
4. Cultivate a soothing voice. Remember, the tone of your voice means more than what you say. Watch your body language. Keep your body open and relaxed.
5. Never lose an opportunity to praise or say a kind word. Say something nice to someone. Look for what is good and say something about it.
6. Exceed expectations. Always go the extra mile and do more than is expected of you. Better yet, do it with a smile.
7. Learn to be objective about personal criticism. Don’t spend time worrying about things you have no control over. Be true to yourself.
8. Respect the feelings of others. Treat others the way you believe they would like to be treated.
9. Refuse to discuss the shortcomings of others. Discourage gossip. Gossip does not do anyone any good. We all know that, so why do we do it? Try making a good and positive comment for every gossipy one you hear.
10. Let your virtues speak for themselves. Dust off those communication skills you know, but don’t always use to work toward better communication and understanding.
So, step back and think about how you will communicate in a more positive way. When you encourage positive communication within yourself, people will follow your lead and you will encourage others to do the same!
In short, conversations go a lot better – and you’ll be happier with the results – when things are approached in a positive way right from the start.
We have a duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word. – William Barclay
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Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of two books on communication – Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home and 52 Communication Tips.