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Communication Part 2: Responding
The first thing to learn in this part is that you will find communication much easier if you are speaking in same way (tone, tempo and rhythm) as your correspondent: if you usually speak fast, find someone who speaks slowly (or vice versa) and match their tempo when you are talking with them, and then measure how successful that conversation was in comparison to a conversation with them which was entirely on your natural tempo. Be sure you are matching all three (tone, tempo and rhythm) though as most people who say that this doesnít work are not matching all three correctly! Usually this sort of thing is natural: if youíve ever been to US, you may have noticed that you started ending sentences on an upward inflection automatically: not a typically British way of speaking. You just picked it up from others and naturally matched it. But if you are to be a highly successful communicator you need to be aware of what actually works rather than just stabbing in dark and going with what comes out of your mouth without you thinking about it.
Use Positive Directions
The second thing that is most important to learn about responding to others is to use positive sentences - I donít mean being nice to people, although that is all to good, but by expressing your purpose in a specific way: "do this" rather than "do not do this". The brain works extra hard to create representation of thing not to be done and superimposes some kind of negative - and in all brain processing that happens afterwards negative frequently gets lost so leaving an extra strong impression of thing not to be done - without its negative. For example: if I were to say, "Do NOT think of a bright red cat", what are you thinking of? Most of you will honestly admit to having had some kind of representation of a red cat flash across mind, furthermore this representation of a red cat will be something you remember more readily than something I say in positive sense. Also, there is whole contrary nature of mind to contend with: there is always fascination and compulsion with what we are told not to do, why else does negative psychology work so well with teenagers?
Take a Meta-View
The last important thing to learn about communication skills is goal of communication: you must keep this in mind when entering into any communication for you to be able to measure itís success and thus moderate your future attempts to achieve your goals through communication. If your goal is to cheer up a friend, you will be able to tell if you have been successful by comparing tone of friend at beginning and at end of conversation. Or if your goal is to build a relationship more solidly, then you can compare your correspondentís mood before and after each communication: and attitude with which they receive you. If they are happy to see you all better, but you can tell something is wrong if they are consistently displeased to see you. For positive proof you need several communications to base your conclusion on: there are other factors at work as well, such as your correspondentís internal mood state - which frequently has very little to do with you - take a "meta-view" stance and see what overall picture is before coming to any conclusions about your communication skills.
Charlotte Burton is a Licensed Career Coach & Psychometric Assessor. For more information and to sign up for the ezine, view the website at www.lifeisvital.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request your complimentary consultation.