Ever feel like you keep saying the same thing to someone but they just don’t seem to ‘get it’? How about saying something to someone and they respond with offense? Do people tune you out? Well, today we are going to talk about how to improve your communication so people get what you are saying and you can start getting what you are asking for.
Communication is among most species, but language is not. We are the only species that has language and words. We use these to describe, create, mediate, and express ourselves. But – surprise – the words are not enough.
One study at UCLA indicated that up to 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues. Another study indicated that the impact of a performance was determined 7 percent by the words used, 38 percent by voice quality, and 55 percent by the nonverbal communication.
Yup, only SEVEN PERCENT of what we communicate as humans is done with words. So take a look at how you are communicating, not what you are communicating. Some questions to ask yourself:
Am I being straightforward or wishy washy? Am I confident when I speak or uncertain? Am I bold or timid? In essence, how are you being around others?
Your thoughts, beliefs, and feelings are all communicated through your tone and body language and this is exactly what we are designed to pick up as humans (refer to this fear article on why our brains are still primitive). So if you are secretly angry or resentful toward someone, afraid, pretentious (otherwise known as a know-it-all), or a big fat liar – the other person is most likely, well 93% likely, to sniff it out. And respond accordingly.
What is so funny about human nature is we have fooled ourselves into thinking that we are really great at covering all this non-verbal stuff up with our words. Ha. Joke is on us.
The good news is by shifting your beliefs and feelings, you can shift your communication. How effective would your communication be if you came from a place of commitment, love, authenticity, forgiveness, generosity, and curiosity? How do you think people would respond? Well, accordingly.
What you have in your life and how people respond to you is a direct correlation to what you put out there and this includes communication. If a lot of people get annoyed around you, guess who is the common denominator!?!? Yeah, now that is a big pill to swallow but if you want things to shift you have to take responsibility for your role. Communication is two-sided, that is unless you are talking to a wall (but that is not nearly as fun).
Now before you start to insist that it really is the other person who stinks at communication, let me say this: start with yourself. You can’t control other people or force them to change, but you can definitely control your own behavior. So put your energy to good use and improve your communication instead of focusing on that of others.
You might be surprised to find that as your communication improves, so does that of the other person.