Strong relationships with others are vital components of a healthy and happy life. Those that are able to build connections with other people tend to lead longer and richer lives.
Those that cannot maintain relationships are more likely to experience loneliness or depression. The effects of both are detrimental to the health of both the mind and body. If you experience difficulty connecting with others, there is a way to build stronger relationships. Whether that be at work or in your personal life, the formula is the same.
Communication is Key
I often get asked the question, “Brian, what is the key to building successful relationships?” And my answer is always the same: Communication.
Much of your success in life is going to come from your ability to communicate well with other people. Successful people know how to communicate and have taken a lot of time to improve their skills.
Communication is just as important in romantic relationships, friendships, and business relationships.
Social intelligence, the ability to interact well with others, is one of the most respected leadership qualities.
Do you want a raise at your job? You’re going to have to ask for one and be prepared to communicate why you deserve it.
Want to let your significant other or friend know that they’ve upset you or hurt you in some way? You’re going to have to be able to communicate with them to ensure they understand how they made you feel.
Invest Your Time
In communicating well with another person, time is the critical factor. The value of a relationship can increase for both you and the other person. It depends on the amount of time that you both invest.
When you take the time to focus on the important issues in your relationships, you open the channels of communication.
Listen attentively, calmly, quietly, and with total attention. It demonstrates the respect you have for the other person, and you deepen the level of trust between you.
Deliver a Clear Message
Effective communication starts with being clear in your own mind about what you want to say. Then be clear when you deliver the message, saying it slowly and patiently.
Finally, make sure that the other person hears the message that you sent.
When you communicate with another person, this is what happens:
The first thing is you send a message into the air in the form of words. Then, the words are received by the other person. They interpret them in their own mind based on their own thoughts, feelings, and so on.
After that, the other person formulates a response and sends the response back. You receive the response and translate that into meaning and significance. Then, you send back your own response.
It’s easy to see how in the midst of all of that back and forth, the original meaning of your message could get lost. It is all based on the other person’s interpretation of your words. This is why it’s so critical to be clear and concise in how you word things.
If you give vague examples or don’t eloquently express your feelings, you leave an open opportunity for someone else to analyze what you meant.
Ultimately, they may come to an incorrect conclusion.
Effective Communication Takes Time to Master
Effective communication is something that takes some time to master. It can change depending on the person you are talking to.
The key is to understand who you are speaking to. Determine what the ultimate goal of the conversation is and the best route to deliver the message. By consciously doing this, you’ll notice that all of your relationships will begin to improve over time.
Can you identify one person in your life with whom you need to communicate better? What steps will you take to repair that relationship?
It takes a great deal of self-confidence to develop your social intelligence and interact well with others. Discover your current level of self-confidence and how to take action toward building greater confidence in yourself.