8 Keys to Successful Interpersonal Communication
February 3, 2008 10:44pm CST
While going over some handouts that I have on file, I saw this list which I would like to share to all of you. Here are eight concrete ways to improve how you get along with others: 1. Practice Self Disclosure Telling someone else about your experiences, feelings, and frustrations goes a long way toward making that person feel at ease with you. 2. Show Mutual Respect Just as you respect yourself, respect the rights of others to think differently from you. Trying to change someone is often not only futile but also disrespectful, because it sends a message that you're not satisfied with that person as he or she really is. 3. Find a Common Frame of Reference When you find yourself part of a group and initially think you have little in common with the other participants, try to find some common frame of reference that wil make you feel more at ease and that will allow you to engage the others in conversation. Remember not to overdo it. 4. Listen Actively and Check the Meaning Casually paying attention to what someone says is only the first level of listening. Most communication between two people in nonverbal. 5. Express your Feelings Appropriately 6. Empathize Empathy is not sympathy; rather, it's taking the time to sit with others and trying to understand what happened and how it makes the person feel. 7. Acknowledge the Legitimacy of Another's Feelings Feelings are not always logical. Each of us experience physiological cycles, mood swings, varying reactions to similar situations and so on. Though another person's mental and emotional states may sometimes seem inexplicable, you must acknowledge the legitimcay of those feelings. 8. Accept Conflict Even in healthy relationships, conflict is bound to occur. When it does, it often indicates that one person sees a problem in the relationship and wishes to resolve it. When conflict does occur, the important thing is to manage it constructively -- and to fight fair.