What constitutes good verbal communication?
Good communication, I have come to realize, is first having a thought you want to convey. It needs us to know exactly what we are trying to convey… not vague, half-formed, deluded thoughts, feelings and emotions. Good communication is using clear, precise, unambiguous words and voice and tone and language to convey precisely what your thought and feeling and emotion was.
It is not just the how, but the what and the why. It is not just form, but function as well.
I realized I don’t have good communication skills – by this understanding of what good communication is. So what do I struggle with exactly?
- I struggle with clear thinking. Very often, I start saying something and realize that I have not thought through completely, and the message I convey isn’t what I want to convey.
- Deep, clear, un-deluded thinking.
- I struggle with using precise words. I have a good vocabulary, good grammar. But I lack the skill to use that good vocabulary and good grammar to choose the right word among many words.
- I struggle to convey what I feel, think, know. A part of this is the lack of full thinking. Another part of this is a rushed manner in thinking and speaking
- I don’t use voice, tones, inflection to help me.
So what can I do to solve these issues?
- Self awareness is the first step. If I was not working on self awareness, I wouldn’t have even realized that I had a problem with communication.
- The second step is to try to slow everything down to a pace where I am slightly uncomfortable with the slowness. This is required to combat my tendency to rush. I realize that my problems manifest more in verbal communication than written – because written is slower and I am forced to slow down..
- The third step is to review. I have issues reviewing anything. I get bored, and then distracted and then I give up the review and move on to the next shiny new thing. A practice for this is to learn to stay with the discomfort, the boredom, the urge to move on, but not give in to it. I suspect this is going to be a lifetime practice.
- Journaling and writing helps with all of the above