12 strategies to master the art of communication (4/4)
10. Speaking slowly: In spite of being the most powerful computer in existence, the human brain can only hold four bits of information in one go. Therefore, if we want others to take in more of what we say, we must speak at a slower pace. Along with improved understanding, speaking slowly also fosters respect and has a soothing effect. On the other hand, when we speak quickly, we might overwhelm others and make them anxious or afraid.
11. Speaking briefly: A great technique to pair with speaking slowly is speaking briefly as it further increases listeners’ understanding. A good rule of thumb is to speak no more than 30 seconds before giving the other person a break. And in those cases where you have to speak for a longer duration, it’s wise to inform your conversation partner beforehand so they are aware that they need to pay closer attention.
12. Listening deeply: Along with speaking in the right manner, you must also pay attention when the other person speaks. Apart from practicing other steps we’ve already discussed such as staying present, enhancing your focus, and being cognizant of non-verbal clues, listening deeply requires that you avoid interrupting as much as possible. When interjection is necessary, apologize first and assure your conversation partner that what they’re saying holds weight. And then when it’s your turn to speak, make sure you first address what the other person just said. If you either change the topic or bring up something you said previously, you will break the flow of the conversation.
So, these 12 steps are all the tools you truly need in your skillset to enhance your communication with others. The more you practice them in different spheres of your life, the more you’ll find yourself improving in your interactions.
Here's a quick recap of all the steps:
- Calming your mind
- Learning to be present
- Cultivating inner silence
- Having a positive attitude
- Reflecting on your inner values
- Thinking of a happy memory
- Being aware of non-verbal cues
- Expressing appreciation
- Keeping a watch on your tone
- Speaking slowly
- Speaking briefly
- Listening deeply