Stop Talking, Start Communicating

Following Monday’s post on words, today we’re talking about communication.

Let’s start by discussing the difference between communicating and talking. Talking covers all types of words that we share, from gossip, to long and drawn out stories, to curses and (in)formal conversation.  However, communication is more direct, more clear, and more purposeful.  You can be a great communicator without talking a lot.  If people communicated more and talked less, we would all get more done, have better relationships and hopefully have happier lives.

So how do we upgrade from just talking to communicating?

Be clear: go ahead, think before you speak!  Be concise, and take your time to really think about the right word or phrase.  Don’t just settle with a curse or two!  Write it down if you have to just so you get to the point, the person you’re talking to doesn’t tune out, and you express what you really feel is important to say.

Be honest: don’t be afraid to tell the truth.  If you’re really communicating for the benefit of your relationship, you’ll be honest.  A sprinkle or two of love & gentleness never hurts though!

Use descriptive words: you don’t have to sound like a scholar, but go for fewer, but more descriptive words.

Finally, listen at least 60% of the time and talk 40% of the time.  I’m a full supporter of making sure everyone has a fair and as equal as possible chance in life, but if we took the time to listen more often than we spoke, we would miss less and make fewer major mistakes.

What are your thoughts on words and communicating?  What strategies do you use or have you learned that have made you a better communicator?  Share your thoughts and tips below.

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