Tips to Effective Communication:

How well do you listen?

Effective communication

Effective communication involves two parts: presenting information and active listening. Without both, resolving conflict is impossible, as is maintaining your friendships. Practice these skills:

  • Think before speaking. Know exactly what message you want to convey.
  • Make sure your friend has your full attention and understands your meaning.
  • Stay focused on the matter at hand.
  • Be clear and precise.
  • Listen to yourself speak.
  • Be aware of your body movement, voice inflection, facial expressions and other nonverbal cues.

When listening:

  • Pay attention to what your friend is saying and acknowledge your interest and understanding in what your friend is saying.
  • Listen for what is behind the words—like feelings and ideas.
  • Do not interrupt, get angry or judge.

When resolving conflict, keep these additional communication tips in mind:

  • Remain calm. Recognize when you are becoming defensive or too emotional.
  • Do not blame or accuse each other.
  • Focus on the issue at hand, not the way you are feeling toward each other.
  • Explore underlying issues.
  • Accept that each other’s perspective is different, but not wrong.
  • Be willing to apologize and forgive.