10 communication skills for strong relationships

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 29 May, 2024 06:00 | 4 mins read
Women engaging in communication at the office. PHOTO/Pexels
Women engaging in communication at the office. PHOTO/Pexels

We live in a world driven by conveyance and reception of information. Our lives and the joy in it derive from our close relationships. It is, therefore necessary that we learn how to relate with each other. Clarice Muchira looks at some ways we could build and maintain strong relations

1. Friendliness

Friendly traits such as honesty and kindness helps foster trust between individuals. When relating to each other we all seek to know them better, so as to ease communication and understanding. This is a key trait when forming or even maintaining a relationship. The other day a colleague of mine lied and I felt the distance between us grow further because I couldn’t trust them. When people are honest we feel particularly drawn to them because at the end of the day no one wants to be with a liar. Honest people also make it easy for others to be vulnerable. Invulnerability is heavy. It’s like walking around with a heavy weight on you and that is tiring. We all want to be with people who make life seem easy and fun.

2. Empathy

Being empathetic means that you are able to understand and share the emotions of another. This is a trait that is highly effective both for one-on-one and team interactions. It involves understanding why people feel the way they do, looking out for subtle non-verbal cues and also maintaining eye contact without staring for those face to face interactions. Empathy is an admirable trait because it will always make people feel seen and loved. That is what most people crave in communication.

3. Active listening

Close to empathy, active listening involves paying close attention to what a person is saying avoiding any distractions. This helps you understand the essence of their communication. This helps the other party

feel heard, seen and appreciated. A must

have skill for strong relationships. Imagine talking to someone who hears every word you say. We all crave some attention and this will skyrocket any relationship because it’s a human need. This helps them to respond effectively and also give effective advice.

4. Respect

Respect is one of the fundamentals for successful communication. Knowing when to initiate and respond during conversation. No matter how close you are with someone, it is necessary to always respect them. Allowing others to speak without interrupting is key during communication. Also bringing out your ideas respectfully and staying on topic fosters strong relationships. Respect can also be displayed by maintaining a relative distance with whomever you’re talking to. Respect keeps us from being overly friendly. Despite friendliness being a great quality we need to have boundaries within our relationships. Boundaries are not to keep others further from you, but helps the relationship blossom since each individual feels safe to express themselves.

5. Understand non-verbal cues

Effective communication goes a long way to facial expressions and body language. We should always be conscious enough to understand what other people are communicating not only through words, but also through their body language. Also pay attention to what your body language is communicating during interactions. Check back to a time when you and your friend were in a group setting and you

needed to tell them something, but you couldn’t because they were a few people away from you and you used gestures or facial expressions to communicate. Now believe it or not people are always communicating this way all you need is to pay attention. You may be talking to someone who is in a hurry and they may not say it, but by looking at their face, body and feet you can tell. By summing up your discussion and promising to look into it later will greatly boost the rapport of your relationship no matter who it is.

6. Feedback

Effective communicators can receive critical feedback as well as provide effective feedback. Giving feedback requires us to be gentle while still maintaining clarity on the feedback. It involves being compassionate in how you deliver information. As we may have something to say about someone’s presentation or after an encounter with someone we need to be gentle in our feedback. The saying “treat people with kindness because we are all going through something “ may sound cliché, but greatly applies in communication.

7. Responsiveness

How long do you take to get back to someone either via email or a phone call? Fast responders are seen to be more effective than the slow responders. Depending on the situation, if it is an issue that requires little time it is best to respond immediately. However if the matter requires that you give it some time it is best to acknowledge that you are working on it and you will get back to them soon. No one wants to spend time being anxious on whether or not the other party received their message or

why they have not replied. Effective communicators always respond. This way everyone is satisfied with the communication.

8. Clarity

Making your messages simple to consume eliminates any chances of misunderstandings. It also saves time and speeds up projects. Clarity in communication also portrays you as a person of value since you value the other persons time as well. As the saying goes “time is money”. Instead of keeping people guessing or unsure of what you want try being clear and you will attract amazing results. People love simple messages. We don’t want to spend time between our workdays trying to decipher what your statement meant. Also a simple message helps you get what you want or know if you will get it.

9. Critical thinking

Critical thinking can help us navigate conflicts, understand our partners better fostering healthier and more satisfying relationships. It involves open mindedness in considering multiple viewpoints and using evidence to guide decisions. Especially in arguments it is best to be a critical thinker because then you are able to look at the issue at hand from different points of view. This can help tone down the argument fast and easily.

10. Assertiveness

This involves communicating with others in a direct and honest manner without intentionally hurting anyone’s feelings. This skill comes in handy when giving feedback. Direct communication can reduce conflict in both personal and work relationships. As it is necessary to be assertive this skill requires us to remember to be respectful. This is a skill anyone can learn.

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