Effective communication

Mar 19, 2024

Let’s do an honest assessment: Most of the times when you are with others, do you just talk? Or do you communicate?

Talking simply means expressing or exchanging words and information verbally, and oftentimes, whether you are understood by other parties is completely overlooked. Talking is mainly a one-way process for the purpose of delivering the words from one person to another. Communicating, on the other hand, is a two-way process and involves both verbal and non-verbal communications, ie body language or gestures, to ensure messages are not only received but also understood between the senders and receivers.

Effective communication is the ability to convey messages with clarity, accuracy, conciseness, and compassion for the purpose of fostering understanding, resolving conflicts, nurturing relationships, and achieving higher level of collaboration.

Tips on Fostering effective communication skills

Effective communication is crucial for your professional career and personal successes. Let’s explore some tips on fostering your communication skills.

Foster your active listening skills

People need to be heard and understood, and that’s why I listed active listening as the first tip on fostering your effective communication skills. Read my blogpost about active listening.

Set clear expectations

Having clear expectations and being intentional is another key for effective communication, especially in the professional setting. Having clarity will not only reduce misunderstandings and ambiguity, but it will also foster trust and create a more collaborative environment.

Practice your communication skills

Here are some tools to better your communication skills

  • Recap
  • Paraphrase
  • Framing and reframing
  • Be clear and direct
  • Keep a curious and an open mind

Engage the other party and understand their perspectives

Engage the other party and hear what they have to say before you start telling them what to do or sharing what you think. By doing so, you will learn more about them and their perspectives and make them feel comfortable, which in returns will help reduce their defense mechanism and develop a better and more trusting and open communication.

Strive for face-to-face communication

Have you ever been misunderstood via email or text? I have!

Modern technology seems to have made communications more convenient and easier, but not necessarily more effective. That’s for sure.

Face-to-face communication allows the exchange of verbal and non-verbal cues which enhances the understanding and builds better interpersonal connections. If there’re conflicts or questions during the conversations, you get to take care of them right on the spot. If you can’t meet face to fact but the issue at hand is important enough, a phone call or video conference call is always better than email or text.

Stick to the agreed upon time

Stick to the time both parties agree upon. In my early careers, one of the supervisors always ran meetings much longer than what was planned, so people just tuned out as the meetings dragged on and their minds already moved to something else on their to-do list, which made those meetings completely non-effective. Respect others’ time and schedule, communicate to the point, and don’t feel pressured to cover all subject matters in one meeting; rather, schedule shorter but focused meetings to create on-going successes is the key to bring people together.

Be mindful of non-verbal communication cues

Body language sometimes speaks louder than words. Whether they are facial expressions, eye contact, postures, gestures, head nodding, tone of voice and others, observing body languages of others helps you understand where people stand and their unspoken thoughts. While you pay attention to others’ body language, be sure to also be mindful of your own.

Ask questions

Asking open ended questions not only helps you gain more insights and perspectives of others, but also shows your interests and attention in what people say.

Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback shows others your willingness and humility to listen and learn, which encourages open and transparent conversations, strengthens relationships, and fosters mutual trust and respect.

Be patient and be approachable

People have different ways to hear, gather, and process information; some lean more on their intuitions, some are based on their senses, and some need more time to process than others.

Understand the possible differences with each person you communicate with and be patient as you engage with them. Hold yourself back from jumping into opinions, advice, or conclusion, and allow the needed time and space for your audience to thoroughly feel they’ve been heard clearly.

Control your emotions

When emotions get in the way, logic disappears. Lack of logic can cloud your thought process, illude your judgment, and lead you to regrettable actions. When you notice your emotions start getting in your communications with others, take deep breaths or walk away for a moment to let your emotions settle a bit. This self-awareness and subtle actions will help contribute to your growth and demonstrate your credibility and professionalism in front of others.

A pair of robins have been consistently banging and flying into my dining room window for over a month now. They start around 6:30 in the morning and fly away by the mid-afternoon. They obviously do it for reasons that I don’t understand. As much as I try to “communicate” and protect them from hurting themselves, nothing has worked. This silly encounter between the birds and me does have some resemblance of what we are talking about here; two parties busy expressing what’s on their minds without any successes at communicating with each other.

Effective communication is essential, and it requires practice. If you are committed to practice and growth, you will become an eloquent communicator with confidence and efficiency.



Photo by Claus H. Godbersen on Unsplash


About Faye Weng

Your Online Life and Career Coach

Faye Weng is an expert life and career coach who works with clients to take back control of their lives by rediscovering their passions, living/working with a clear purpose, and becoming people who can positively impact the communities around them. As your life and career coach, Faye will help you minimize noises and distractions, focus your effort and attention on the right things, execute a clear plan of action, and celebrate alongside of you when each milestone is reached. Click here to book a complimentary session.