Interpersonal communication is a critical issue in people’s private and professional lives.
That’s why today I want to introduce you to what I consider the ten main rules to follow when you want to communicate effectively with the person in front of you.
Let’s get right into it.
Here are my ten commandments of effective and efficient interpersonal communication, briefly outlined.
- Do you have adequate knowledge of the language you are communicating in?
- If your understanding is not sufficient to exchange information and avoid dangerous misunderstandings, it is best to give up.
- Or be prepared to use an interpreter or ask for help from somebody who can help you.
- Do you have sufficient command of the topic of discussion?
- If the conversation involves areas of expertise that you do not master, again, you should either give up or get help from an expert.
- The most important thing is to get as much in-depth knowledge of the topic as possible, so that you do not find yourself in uncomfortable situations.
- Do not interrupt (unless you are facing a chatterbox)!
- It is polite not to interrupt when someone is talking, and to give him/her time to fully express his/her thoughts.
- Interruption can have detrimental effects on the conversation.
- The only time interruption is productive is when you meet the classic “chatterbox,” a person who is inclined to dwell on irrelevant details or talk over him or herself.
- In this case, the interruption can be managed with precise techniques so as not to compromise the quality of the communication.
- Avoid explosive words.
- Some words undermine the quality of the conversation.
- There is no exhaustive list, as every business sector has its dangerous words; however, we can say that words such as problem, difficulty, disaster, malfunction, etc. induce concern and anxiety.
- Feelings that you will then need to remove to guide the conversation toward the solution you desire.
- No, I can’t, I don’t agree, yes but, however…
- Starting a sentence with a negative generates in your interlocutor the feeling of opposition to you, thus greatly reducing his will of listening.
- And if you want to communicate, you probably also want to be heard, don’t you?
- Choose a comfortable environment.
- I don’t think I need to convince you that a comfortable environment helps quality communication.
- I recommend that you remember this when you expect to have a pleasant conversation in one of those places with music so deafening that you are forced to scream to make yourself heard.
- Call by name the person you are talking to.
- Do you like hearing your name?
- Well, be aware that your interlocutor feels the same pleasure: why don’t you use this opportunity to increase his/her motivation and the overall quality of the conversation?
- Value the person you are talking to.
- Recognizing the merits, skills, role or contribution that your interlocutor has in a specific situation has a positive effect on communication.
- Obviously, it is recommended that flattery be avoided, and appreciation must be carefully put into proper context to avoid dangerous “accidents”.
- Announce important concepts.
- When you’re about to express a concept that you want to be listened to carefully, announce it.
- Beginning your sentence with what I’m about to say is very important, or I think we’ll have to pay close attention to it, it will increase your interlocutor’s attention and his/her motivation to listen.
- Ask for permission before asking risky questions.
- During a conversation, you may have to ask questions that the person may not want to answer for confidentiality reasons.
- Beginning the sentence with May I ask… increases the person’s willingness to provide you with the information you need.
That’s all for now.
I don’t claim I’ve fully covered this topic, but I think that paying attention to the Ten Commandments of interpersonal communication will help you reduce the risk of deteriorating the quality of the conversation without achieving your goals.
How can I prove it?
There is one way: at the first opportunity,
instead of using the Ten Commandments
focus on NOT applying them.
Well, every time your conversation partner says something you don’t like, tell him/her openly, maybe starting with
I don’t agree!
Or, if you see that despite it all the conversation continues, try to pad the dialogue with
Sorry, can you tell me your name once more?
calling the person by someone else’s name!
Then, please write and tell me what happened.