Victoria McKenna is a Life and Mental Health Coach based in Centreville, VA for Goose Creek Consulting. Victoria works with her clients to set and reach, realistic and reachable goals and break down any potential barriers to those goals. Victoria is a resident-in counseling with a range of experience providing health services in public and private settings. Victoria is currently accepting new coaching clients.
Tips For Effective Communication
by Victora McKenna
Communication seems to be such a simple concept and is so accessible to us today, yet individuals, couples, and families, seek support from professionals to address this issue. Why? Because it is not so easy! There are many elements during a conversation that an individual can practice to help the speaker feel heard and valued.
I would like to provide you with some brief tips to help improve you next conversation with someone you care about.
-Pay attention to your body posture and facial expressions. Keep your arms and legs uncrossed to appear more open and accepting.
-Tune into your tone of voice and the speaker’s tone of voice. When you speak use a tone that sounds interested.
-Look at the person who is speaking. Use an appropriate amount of eye contact. This is a great way to show that you are listening.
-Listen. Just listen. All of your attention is on the speaker. This can very difficult especially when you may disagree with what the person is saying. Try your best not to be formulating your answer in your head because if you are then you are not listening.
-Put the technology away. It cannot be more important than the person in front of you sharing their thoughts and emotions.
-Do not give advice unless the person specifically asks you to help them solve a problem. No one likes to be told what to do (especially teenagers).
-When the person is done speaking, try to summarize what you heard. Start with ‘it sounds like’ or ‘it seems like’ then fill in what you heard. That way you are not assuming you heard correctly and it tells the speaker you were genuinely interested and invested in the conversation.
-Remember this person is being vulnerable with you right now. They are sharing their true thoughts and feelings with you. They are trusting you and that is a gift in itself.
Don’t worry if you forget to do all of these things every time you speak with someone you care about. If you are nonjudgmental and genuine, they will appreciate you taking the time to truly listen to them and help them feel heard and valued.