Formation Of Effective Communication Skills

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Connecting with people is something that makes us happy. We are, by nature, a social species. Our brains release ‘feel-good’ hormones, such as oxytocin, when we have positive interactions with others. A study published in 2002, by Barbara L. Fredrickson and Thomas Joiner states that, “Nursing social relationships enhance happiness because spending time with friends or colleagues builds positive emotions—a key component of happiness.”

But that requires good communication skills. But how do we know we’re communicating in an effective way? How do we know if we’re oversharing or not sharing enough? These questions can be difficult to answer. They’re even harder to answer if you’re trying to communicate your needs, whether they be emotional, physical, psychological.

You need to know what you want before you can communicate with others. That can be scary. A lot of us like to please everyone around us, and explaining to them what we really want can go against that. Sometimes it’s just easier to not say anything at all rather than upset or burden those we care about.

But that way of thinking will only bring problems down the line. And it’s not what any healthy relationship should be built upon.

What is Effective Communication?

During any type of communication, there are two sides involved. There’s a sender and a receiver. One side has to send a message, either verbal or nonverbal, and the other side has to decode that message.

As human beings, we’re subjective when it comes to decoding messages. So rarely does a piece of communication get an objective or unbiased response. In 1981, Friedemann Schulz von Thun introduced a model on which all communication is based upon. Every piece of communication has 4 sides, similar to a Rubik’s cube.

  • Fact (a statement or data)
  • Self-revealing (information about the sender)
  • Relationship (information regarding how the sender and receiver get along)
  • Appeal (how the sender tries to influence the receiver)

Every single you communicate, you never put the same emphasis on all 4 parts of your message. Sometimes it’s more factual if you’re discussing a work or school project. Other times it’s more ‘relationship’ if you’re with your partner, friends, or family.

Problems start when the receiver uses one of those “ears” (fact, self-revealing, relationship, appeal) more than the others. Misguided decoding of what we communicate is the number one factor in break-ups, divorce, getting fired - you name it.

Things go sour quickly when we convince ourselves of something the sender may not have wanted to convey at all. The essence of any effective communication is realizing that we hear may not what the sender is trying to get across to us at all.

The Ways to Communicate Your Needs Effectively

We’ve put together the 5 main points for effective communication.

Start with ‘I’ instead of ‘You’

We usually tend to start our sentences with ‘You’. This leads to the receiver becoming defensive because it sounds like you’re blaming them. Then an argument ensues.

To avoid this scenario, start your sentences with ‘I’. Many believe the word ‘I’ means you’re self-serving. But the opposite is true. It helps explain exactly what you mean in an unambiguous way. It’s one of the most constructive, effective ways to begin a conversation.

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Speak calmly and clearly

It’s easy to raise your voice when you feel you’re not being heard. But it’s counterintuitive. Don’t let impatience or annoyance creep into your voice. The receiver will only hear your tone, not your actual words.

Every time you feel your tone is becoming accusatory or patronizing, take a breath and slow down. Tell yourself that the only way to get your message across effectively is to stay calm.

The second part is speaking clearly. This means organizing what you want to say in a simple, straightforward fashion. It eliminates straying into other topics and losing track of what you really want to say. Also, using vague language can lead to misunderstanding. That’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid.

Stop apologizing

Having needs and communicating these needs doesn’t make you a selfish person. You have to be confident and stand up for what you want and require of others. Telling others what you want in a constructive way makes you a healthy, normal individual.

Another trap we tend to fall in is over-explaining and justifying our needs. That isn’t effective communication at all. It also sends the message that you’re not really confident with what you want or why you want it. Choose words that convey your inner-strength and confidence.

Be positive

Instead of starting with “Don’t”, try a more positive approach. Using positive language gives a more effective approach to getting things done. This is a great way to avoid negative reactions from the receiver.

Studies show that if you convey your message in the negative, it sends a subliminal command to not do what you asked. If you want someone to do something, get to their subconscious faster by using positive commands. They attract their attention in a more desirable way.

Really listen

Many of our communication troubles start because we don’t listen to one another. Each side is trying to get their point across, or maybe to prove they’re right, without giving a chance for a response.

Sometimes we don’t mean it. We’re busy, we’re swamped with responsibilities and things we have to do, so we multi-task. But multi-tasking is another word for not paying attention when someone’s talking to you. M. Scott Peck, the famous psychologist and best-selling author, says, “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.”

Here are some ways you can become an ‘active listener’.

  • Be attentive. Convey some nonverbal involvement (nodding, eye-to-eye contact, etc.)
  • Avoid being judgmental
  • Don’t let your mind wander

A Final Note

It’s important to remember that communicating your needs is important for any healthy relationship. The trick is how to convey your thoughts and feelings.

First, make sure you know what you want. Next, use calm and clear words to avoid being misunderstood in any way. Finally, learn how to use positive language to get your message across.

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Formation Of Effective Communication Skills. (2021, September 13). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 19, 2024, from
“Formation Of Effective Communication Skills.” Edubirdie, 13 Sept. 2021,
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