Steps to Communicate Effectively

When you communicate effectively, that is when you get heard and acknowledged. However, it isn’t easy to do this as this isn’t a skill we are taught in childhood.

how do you communicate effectively

There are things you can do to get heard that creates trust and respect. It is so much easier to not speak up as this avoids confrontation, discomfort, anger and judgement. Shying away from speaking up is the norm for a lot of us. I know for years I would either run away or when I did speak up I was aggressive and confrontational. Why? Because I was scared and wanted to hide my vulnerability and that the fact that I was hurt. Furthermore, I didn’t feel confident in myself, my own worth and in what I had to say. Basically, I couldn’t stick up for myself in such away that I got my needs met. Are bells ringing for you?

As mentioned in my previous blog on “Effective Communication Leads to Confidence”,  I wrote about writing. For me, this is the best way to get started. Before you open up communication with someone, it is important to have cleared all the rubbish that could get in the way. Such as anger, resentment, jealousy, aggression, blame, hurt and feeling the victim. All you do is shut the other person down leading to further frustration and negative emotion. So the cycle goes on and on.

just start writing

Get it all down on paper first. Write down every emotion and feeling that you have around the person or issue. Remember this is for your eye’s only. Many years ago I read ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julie Cameron which unblocked me completely. Initially, I was so constipated about writing. I felt guilt and disloyalty. As she says: ‘Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*– they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only’.

For me, the best place to write is in my sacred space where I feel safe to open up. It clears facts from fiction (ie your imagination) giving you clarity on the situation. When you are in emotion you lose sight of what is real and what is in your imagination. And most importantly, it keeps you in the present moment rather than in the past or in the future.

If you find you are blocked and don’t know where to start, just write the first thing, or even word, that comes into your head. And keep writing that word. At first, it does feel silly. However, you will be amazed what can morph from this. Keep writing until you feel you have freed yourself from the pain, hurt and anger you are feeling.

deal with emotional discomfort 

This is one of the most difficult things to do in our lives. It takes courage to not only get started but to admit it in the first place. And to be able to communicate effectively, writing is a great way to get you started. It is about staying with the discomfort as I write about in the aforementioned blog. This is great preparation for when the time comes for you to state your truth, whether it be face to face or in writing. These techniques apply to all forms of communication. When you start to release these intense emotions, you will begin to get a sense of freedom and vitality. You will feel lighter and more confident.

Another part of communicating effectively is to sit quietly with yourself. Make this a habit as it will also open you up to your thoughts. This gives you time to reflect on what has come up for you to help you clear it all out. And to also see what is holding you back. Is it fear, lack of confidence, unworthiness, not feeling important and enough? If you are finding this difficult, listen to my guided meditation for support.

what to do when you are ready to communicate

Here is a list of things to consider to get the most out of your interaction so both of you feel heard and acknowledged.

  1. Before you start come prepared visualising the outcome you would ideally like.
  2. Be attentive, open and make steady eye contact if you sitting opposite each other.
  3. Start with a positive and how you feel about the person.
  4. State facts only and what is happening for you without judgment. Once you bring emotion in you have lost them, particularly if they are feeling attacked.
  5. State how you feel and only how you feel with the ‘I’ message, ie I feel hurt or sad, etc.
  6. Speak clearly and as calmly as possible. If you find you are getting emotional and off track, pause and take a breath to regroup.
  7. Don’t rush and stay in the moment, despite any discomfort you may be feeling. Hang in there. At first, it will be difficult. And all you will want to do is run away.
  8. If you would like to see a change, state what that would be.
  9. Once you have finished, give the other person a chance to respond. Listen to what they have to say. Remain open and attentive reflecting back what is being said. This creates trust and respect.

feel the fear and do it anyway

It is a lot to take in and it will take time to find your voice and to communicate effectively. All I can say is start. There will always be an element of fear and anxiety. However, you will grow in confidence once you practice and bring this into your life. Your life will change and most importantly how you feel about yourself will change. Only you can do this. I can only encourage you to get going.

it’s time to find your true voice

If you would like to delve deeper into finding your voice, sign up for my free 5-Day Unfold Your Voice email series. During these 5 days I will show you how to: Speak your truth, feel heard, listen effectively, have a voice and be able to say yes.

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