Communicating effectively is more than just speaking and listening. To communicate effectively, you have to fully understand your position, your goals in having the conversation, and what’s at stake by hearing out or compromising with the other side.
If you’re unclear on your position, what you need, and why you’re asking for it, you and the person you’re communicating with are set up to struggle.
In order to communicate, you have to be fully self aware of what you’re saying and why.
But how can being self aware make you better at talking to others? Here’s how:
To know what you need or what you’re offering to someone else, you must be aware of your own position. You’ll know what you’re lacking, what you have, etc. Being self aware requires some deep introspection at times, but you also need to have awareness of what’s on the surface.
For example, if you look down and realize you don’t have a pencil, you go ask for one. You have to be self aware in at least some way to know that you’re missing something you need to get your job done.
In a broader scope, think of what you need as a company. Do you need materials to create a product? Do you need to hire more people? Is your company falling short somehow?
Be honest with where you’re lacking, it can only benefit you.
We all hope that people like us or at least can tolerate us while we work together. Sometimes you just don’t click with someone and that’s okay.
But you are somewhat responsible for being aware of how others perceive you. Even in strong, solid relationships, it’s important to know how others see you. Being aware of your privileges, strengths, weaknesses, etc. through not just your own eyes, but others, can make you think differently about what you say and how you say it.
Half of communicating is listening. You can talk and talk all day long, but until you do some listening too, you’re not really communicating.
To be a good communicator, you need to be aware of how much or how little you’re listening. Good self-awareness means knowing when you’re doing too much talking. If it feels like you’ve been talking for a long time, trust your instincts.
Self awareness also means knowing when you haven’t been talking enough. If you feel like you haven’t really gotten your point across but you’ve been talking for a while, regroup. Are you not communicating effectively or is your partner not really listening?
Being a good communicator means being willing to hear things that aren’t always fun to hear. Communicating means listening for the good, the bad, and the neutral.
Self awareness means knowing you haven’t failed if you need to receive feedback. Feedback can be positive, but even if it isn’t, it’s okay. Self awareness is knowing that you can always improve and feedback is a sign that someone cares. They want you to succeed and want to help you get there.
Self awareness is a lot about looking inward and taking stock of what’s going on with you before the people around you. Being really in tune with yourself is a surefire way to be an effective communicator. To learn more about how being self aware paves the way to career success, check out this article from ASAP!
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