Communication barrier is a big problem in our daily life. Communication can either bring you closer or break your relationship with someone. I notice that whenever I meet my sister or brother or my mum, a sweet conversation can easily turn into heated argument. Both parties feel that they are right and the other one is wrong. We get frustrated and angry and simply walk off and slams the door.
It happens slightly different with other people like our close friends, colleagues and relatives. The level of frustration is lesser compared with our own family members. Do you agree with me? Maybe we won’t even say it to them. We just keep it to ourselves. We don’t want to hurt our friends, do we?
Why can’t we have good communication with each other? Is it that difficult? How if it can solve 90% of our problem and let us live a peaceful life? How to have good communication? Do you know how to communicate effectively with others? Do I know? Well, I don’t know! If I knew, I will be sitting in a very high position right now and earning millions of dollars teaching people this art.
There is no harm in trying to understand this art right. So let’s explore. What actually happens when two people is trying to communicate. Let me tell you a story. A real story that has happened to me. I invited my friend to go for a dinner since it has been quite some time I have seen her. I kinda missed her and thought to meet to have some chat.
We communicated through whatsapp and agreed to meet up for dinner. She asked me to go to a new restaurant that she knows and I agreed to that. I told her to send me the location. You know waze is making our life easier. She just told me to type the name in the waze and it will show. I was like how will I know if it is correct one?
Then I thought maybe she doesn’t know how to search in waze. (rolling eyes) So what I did, I searched and send her the location to confirm if the location is correct. Then there was no response. Then I said let’s go to a place that both of us knows. She doesn’t want to go to the usual place we used to go because the owner changed it seems and also it was quite far for me. The usual place is about 30 mins drive from the place I’m staying.
When intuition is trying to help
Then, she told me the location I sent earlier is correct and asked me to come there. I was already driving by the time and I said ok. I just clicked the earlier location and it shown 30 mins drive from my current location. An inner voice quietly questioned me “30mins?” My brain just belittled my inner voice and said “it should be correct! She just confirmed it. Maybe it is her favourite place and she doesn’t realize the distance is still about the same.”
So I convinced myself and just drove to the destination. Once reached, I called and said to her “Hey, where is the restaurant? In the waze, it shows a different picture. Here I don’t find it. Where are you?” Then, she realized I was at a wrong place. There were a lot of branches and the one she mentioned was at another place. She sent me the location. I used waze to check the location. It shows another 30 mins from the current restaurant that I’m in. 😧
Can you picture what actually happened here? Isn’t it a communication barrier? If both of us were to communicate clearly, we would have avoided this situation. My little inner voice or intuition did try to warn me earlier. It questioned me quietly “why it shows 30 mins?” I just ignored my intuition and assumed things and went ahead with my decision. What my friend could have done better? She could have sent me the correct location or at least check properly the location that I have sent. How on earth will I know where is the place she is talking about? I assumed she would have checked the landmark nearby to ensure it is correct. I think she saw the picture updated in waze and thought it is correct. And I don’t know who updated waze wrongly or whether it is an old update.
I’m sharing with you what happened in my brain and how I decided things. I don’t know what happened in her brain and how she decided things. She could have a valid and logical reason too. I couldn’t write it here because she didn’t tell me clearly what happened on her side. At the end of the day, we ate at different restaurant. We didn’t meet. She said let’s meet up tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Well, we won’t know what will happen tomorrow. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Maybe for some reason, the universe didn’t want us to meet. I don’t know. I always believe there must be a reason as to why something happens. Maybe the universe wants to give me a story to write. Hahahaaa 😛
After this incident, I started to ponder. I remember my uncle always emphasize we must make sure that the other person get the information correctly. My coach also reminding me from time to time on things I should communicate clearly to my customers. Because most of the time, I tend to assume. It is not good to assume things.
So I thought let me come out with some ways on how I can improve my communication skills at the same time it can help others. I have listed down about 5 ways to improve our communication. Please check it out below:
How to improve Our communication skills
1) Don’t assume things.
Always check if the other person have understood the message. Your understanding of things maybe different compared to another person.
2) Respond to message or call.
If someone tried to call or message you, please respond to them. If you don’t respond, they will start to worry what happened to you. Whether you have been kidnapped, you lost your phone, or met accident. This is worst case scenario. If you have been busy or away from phone, it is always courteous to send a reply maybe at the end of the day. Sometimes we don’t respond because we are not interested. Wouldn’t it save time and energy if you were to tell them nicely you are not interested? At least, they won’t keep bugging you with phone calls and message.
3) Try to put yourself on the other person’s shoes.
How would they feel? Will they like the way you communicate to them? If someone were to do the same thing to you, will you like it? Karma is there to teach you back what you did. I’m already experiencing some return of my own action. 😑
4) If you can’t talk nicely, better to keep quiet.
Because when you don’t react, they won’t be triggered. Just tell to yourself “I better keep quiet now before the volcano erupt. I can always talk later when both of us are more calm.”
5) Be transparent and direct.
People cannot read our mind. We have to open our mouth and tell. If you don’t like something, tell it. Some have the habit of talking behind. What’s the point of talking behind and gossiping about someone? If you want to help them improve, you must tell them what is their weakness and how they can improve. Be honest.
So these are some of the steps that I can think of and would like to practice to improve my communication skills with others. If you do have some ideas on how to improve, please share at the comments below. 😊
Source of image: ampsinc.net/communication-is-key/