Do you struggle to effectively communicate with people you love or at work? Been there! My sister and I chat all about the ways we had to work on how to better our communication skills, especially with each other.
Learning to properly communicate, especially when emotions are involved, will better all of the relationships in your life. Proper communication builds more trust, deeper intimacy, and a greater ability to connect.
We also share some tips on communicating better in a work environment and knowing how to adjust your styles based on who you’re talking to.
Communication & Cinnamon Buns
This was such fun episode of Heart to Heart with Taryn! Having my sister on gave me a great opportunity to be vulnerable about how much work I had to do in my own life to get better at communicating with her specifically.
We also do a bunch of dancing and goofy things – so I hope you enjoy that:
In this episode, we make Prue Leith’s Apple and Cinnamon Buns. They’re so delicious!
Tips for Better Communication
We share a lot of ways to better your communication skills in the video, but I pulled out some of the ones I felt were the most valuable to share again here.
Self-Awareness Goes a Long Way
In order to better your communication skills, it’s important to first witness where you aren’t doing a great job of it. This all comes down to self-awareness.
Start the process by witnessing the way you communicate, especially when you feel like you could’ve handled a situation better.
One of my favorite researchers on communication in Vanessa Van Edwards, who has an awesome People Skills Test you can take.
There are other important elements that require self-awareness within communications.
Watch Your Emotions
In the video, I explained how I used to lack the ability to control crying when trying to communication anything vulnerable – or anything at all honestly. I had to witness that pattern before I could correct it. My sister, Sierra, also shares how she would bottle her frustrations until they explode out of her.
Here’s the thing – you can’t actually control your emotions. Emotions are a natural response to something coming up for you.
What you can control is your reaction to the emotions. With more self-awareness, you can notice when your emotions lead to poor communication, like exploding or avoiding, and you can start to work on those patterns.
Sometimes, you have to allow yourself the space to process your emotions so you can better communicate your needs or struggles.
Your Authentic Voice
The other part of self-awareness is recognizing when you’re not being yourself.
When you aren’t being authentic, it can be hard to communicate. You may be walking on eggshells because of some fear you have of other people’s judgments or you may be shrinking your personality around people who intimidate you.
This takes a bit of time and strengthening your self love muscles. We know you can do it!
Awareness Of Others
While you build your own awareness, it’s equally important to pay attention to those you’re communicating with.
Check the Styles
We all have different communication preferences, whether in person, by email, or text. While it’s important to find what works for you, it’s also a great practice to witness other people’s style.
It can be a lot easier to communicate well with someone if you can try to copy their own style back to them. For example, if they tend to write longer, more details emails, respond the same way.
Who’s Your Audience?
Being more aware of who you’re talking to can help you change your language to better your communication skills. This isn’t about being unauthentic, but rather choosing wording and phrases that those you’re talking to will better understand.
For example, when someone asks me about how they can work on their anxiety, I don’t generally jump into neuroscience language because I’m not sure it will make sense to them. I speak to them about it in ways they can relate.
Better Communication Skills
Outside of more self-awareness and having more awareness of others, you can work to better your communication skills to help avoid confusion and conflict.
Communicate Your Needs
One of the ways we have conflict with others is through the lack of communication or not communicating our truth.
How often do you say “yes” to things you can’t make time for? Do you know how to tell someone “no” when necessary?
You can also communicate about your communication needs. Not into texting? Let your friends know that you really prefer phone calls. The more you practice honesty and share your needs, the more you can avoid conflict in the long run.
One of the things that has made a huge difference in my communication skills was learning to take ownership for my mistakes. Did I not properly explain myself or make assumptions about something that was told to me? I own that.
It’s also powerful to own when you don’t have an answer for things. It’s a powerful skill to say, “I’m not sure on that. I’ll look into it and get back to you.”
Again, honesty rules.
Ask More Questions
One of the ways you can enjoy better conversations? Asking better questions.
This is a skill that will better all your relationships. People really hate shallow conversation. Asking better questions can help everyone avoid that unnecessary boredom.
You can study great conversation questions and have a handful ready you can pull out when you need them. They can be really simple, like “tell me about the highlight of your week.” Just allow yourself to be really curious and more questions will follow.
Looking for more on communication? I have three powerful tips for you here.
One of the things I continue doing to better my communications is by strengthening my self belief. The more I believe in myself and build my confidence, the easier it becomes to be myself and own my part of communication.
If you want to strengthen your self belief, I’d love to help! Schedule your consult here.
Practice makes perfect! Keep it up ?