Effective Communication Skills
Emotions play an important role in the way we communicate. Learning to pick up on the emotional state in ourselves and others helps us to identify what is really being communicated and interpreted. In fact, this is when as they say, “the truth comes out.” It’s the way you feel, more than the way you think, that motivates you to communicate or to make decisions. The way you react to emotionally-driven nonverbal cues affects both how you understand other people and how they understand you. If you are out of touch with your feelings, and don’t understand how you feel or why you feel that way, you’ll have a hard time communicating your feelings and needs to others. This can result in frustration, misunderstandings, and conflict. When you don’t address what’s really bothering you, you often become embroiled in petty squabbles instead—arguing with your spouse about how the towels should be hung, for example, or with a coworker about whose turn it is to restock the copier.
Emotional awareness provides you the tools for understanding both yourself and other people, and the real messages they are communicating to you. Although knowing your own feelings may seem simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear.
Your ability to communicate depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insist on communicating only on a rational level, it will impair your ability to fully understand others, creatively problem solve, resolve conflicts, or build an affectionate connection with someone.
How Emotional Awareness Can Improve Effective Communication
Emotional awareness—consciousness of your moment-to-moment emotional experience—and the ability to manage all of your feelings appropriately is the basis for effective communication.
Emotional awareness helps you:
- Understand and empathize with what is really troubling other people.
- Understand yourself, including what’s really troubling you and what you really want.
- Stay motivated to understand and empathize with the person you’re interacting with, even if you don’t like them or their message.
- Communicate clearly and effectively, even when delivering negative messages.
- Build strong, trusting, and rewarding relationships, think creatively, solve problems, and resolve conflicts.
Effective Communication Requires Both Thinking and Feeling
When emotional awareness is strongly developed, you’ll know what you’re feeling without having to think about it—and you’ll be able to use these emotional cues to understand what someone is really communicating to you and act accordingly. The goal of effective communication is to find a healthy balance between your intellect and your emotions, between thinking and feeling.
Emotional Awareness is a Skill You Can Learn
Emotional awareness is a skill that with patience and practice can be learned at any time of life. You can develop emotional awareness by learning how to get in touch with difficult emotions and manage uncomfortable feelings, including anger, sadness, fear, disgust, surprise, and joy. When you know how to do this, you can remain in control of your emotions and behavior, even in very challenging situations, and communicate more clearly and effectively.
When you are learning a new skill, it can be frustrating and scary. Understanding that these are valid emotions and learning to address them can help you become a skilled negotiator.
Rich Dad Education Elite Trainer