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7 Fast Steps to Great Interpersonal Communication

Oct 12, 2007
Interpersonal communication has a lot to do with non-verbal cues as well as what you say. People unconsciously detect a lot of meaning - and sometimes misinterpret it - from body language. Making sure that you are using the right kind of body language can help to prevent an awful lot of problems with interpersonal communication.

1. Position
Believe it or not, where you stand or sit in relation to the person you are attempting to communicate with can make a big difference to the conversation. Standing face to face with someone can be intimidating and feel confrontational.

Instead, try sitting side by side. Better still, walk and talk together. That seems to bring people in synch'.

2. Read between the lines
If an argument has continued for more than ten minutes, the chances are that you are not addressing the real issue. Now may not be the time to do that if feelings are running high, but the choice is to take a break or address the real issue; any further arguing is just counter-productive.

3. Trust your instincts
Your instincts are a major part of interpersonal communication; they will help you to detect if someone is lying - for instance, if someone fakes a look of innocence, it is often subconsciously rather than any other way that you will detect dishonesty.

Of course, as well as the above non-verbal aspects of communication, what you say is important in interpersonal conversation.

4. Don't be afraid to be graphic
A graphic, specific detail can be really effective in
interpersonal communication. It can be really memorable.

When you want to memorable, give your interpersonal communication some memorable features such as a vivid detail, story or a detail. Be controversial if you want to and can handle the consequences.

5. Try to empathize
It will help your interpersonal communication immensely if you can try to see things from the other person's point of view. You will be surprised at how quickly simply acknowledging that the other person has a valid point of view will defuse many heated arguments. Part of this empathy is also about allowing pauses and silences so that you can both think. Try not to shoot words back and forth like balls in a tennis volley; pause and review the situation; think how you can progress a conversation productively.

6. Be clear
If you have a point of view to communicate, say it. Say it with an understanding that others have a right to disagree with you, but say it with conviction. People will listen to you and you will provoke further thought. In contrast, if people aren't sure what you are trying to say, they will become frustrated and they will also begin to distrust you as you don't seen to have the courage of your convictions.

7. Use appropriate vocabulary
It's no good talking in a way in which your audience don't understand; they won't learn a thing and your conversation will get nowhere. Use simple, everyday language and if you need to use technical terms, explain them. Remember to not belittle your audience, though; that will stop them listening to you openly if they feel you do not respect them.

These guidelines are all quite simple, as interpersonal
communication needn't be a difficult thing. It should be about a meeting of minds; a meeting on the same level. The message to be communicated should be the most important thing and you should be focusing upon how you can enable your audience to understand your message if you are the one to have something to communicate; if you are the one receiving the message, you should do your best to listen and give the other person chance to talk. Those simple things should really help you in your interpersonal communication.
About the Author
Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report: 10 Simple Steps to Developing Communication Confidence. Apply now because it is available only at: communication skills
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