5 Ways to Solve Communication Problems

Problems relating to communication can become the stuff that nightmares are made of, and funny enough, no area of life is immune to its effect. Professional, personal and intimate life depends on the communication abilities of parties involved and when misalignment of the numerous factors of the communication process occurs, it is here the fickleness of the process presents itself, but it is also here that the importance of solutions to this misalignment is recognized.

Professionally, problems relating to communication can eventually lead to low productivity, less engagement, poor workforce retention and low morale. In the personal realm, misaligned communication can result in prolonged tension, avoidance, disconnect and an eventual dissolve of relationships. These outcomes stress the importance of the ability to solve communication troubles, as early on and as efficiently as possible.

Accept that you don’t control the outcome

Attachment to outcome may just be the quickest way to lose your way, because for an outcome to occur, it may involve a series of coordinated steps that your counterpart might not be aware of. Further, it's near impossible to control all the factors that are at play when we engage with others. Things like the other person's, current, emotional and psychological state cannot be accounted for. Other factors like disturbances, accidents and emergencies also dwell in the world of the uncontrollable.

Releasing any attachments held can prove to be a strength that can be utilized along the way. These detachments grant the power of flexibility and presents an open-minded position that puts you in a great position to work through and deal with what's to come. You’ll make peace with the situation and focus on giving your best. Thus, escaping the frustrations that come from holding onto expectations.

Releasing any attachments held can prove to be a strength that can be utilized along the way.

Pay attention to non-verbal communication

The things that we aren't saying, may speak the most volume and with this one, the lines tend to be blurred because maintaining an awareness that allows us to align words, social cues, tone of voice and actions can be difficult to keep track of. When communicating, try paying attention to what the body is doing, in that moment, because your eyes, facial expressions, hand movements and the body's posture are all communicating at the same time as your words, and they can either be working in your favor or against you.

The way toward this cognizance is through practices of self awareness, however they make the most sense to you. Learn yourself, your triggers, how they show up and your natural response to these triggers. What can you do to counter and gain a greater sense of control over them? Spend time working on your communication skills, inclusive of body language, tone of voice and other social cues and you'll get there.

Be direct about feelings & desired outcomes

As humans, we have not reached the evolutionary stage where telepathy has been introduced, and because we want to avoid conflict and have our needs met, it is of greater benefit to do more rather than less in helping the other person to know what exactly is going on for us. Outrightly, expressing feelings and desired outcome is the next best thing to telepathy.

Share what's coming up for you in the moment; how you felt when something was said or done; and why you felt triggered by those events. This ensures that you are understood and it gives the person an opportunity to clarify, apologize or justify what's happening on their side. Communication is a process and it requires a series of exchanges, in order for it to be successful; sharing feelings is a part of that process.

Additionally, at the end of expressing your feelings, as daunting as it may be, be sure to make it known what is the resolution that would make the most sense to you, given the situation. This doesn't guarantee that the person will cooperate but it does improve your chances of being understood and having your communication needs met. A key point to be aware of is that you should resist the urge to manipulate, shame or blame the other person, matter of fact, this is an opportunity to re-invite vulnerability.

Communication is a process and it requires a series of exchanges, in order for it to be successful; sharing feelings is a part of that process.

Take a step back

Sometimes, things just get out of hand, even when you believe that you're doing it all right. Tempers flare, words are said and we make a fool of ourselves, acting as destructive agents in our own story. Before it gets further, and instead of contributing any further to the confusion, a wiser approach may be to just take a step back and allow some space to penetrate the moment.

Surprisingly, space is a great diffuser for heated moments, but there needs to be tact in its execution. Do not walk off on, ignore or dismiss the other side, since this can be interpreted as an escalation, passive aggressive in nature. Instead, ask for, or state that you think it's necessary to pause, because you recognize that things are getting a bit heated and that you think a pause can deescalate the situation, just a bit. Sober minds, are more wise, and when the relationship matters, a sober approach is the best move.

Try to understand your counterpart

Just like you, your counterpart has wants, needs and desires, but these aren't always communicated as intended and, as a result, the messages aren't received as intended. Goodwill can be exhibited by seeking to understand what is being communicated, by your counterpart.

Attempts of doing this, can show up as actively listening to what is shared, without interruption, to the best of your ability. Then, reflecting to the person what it is that you have interpreted their message to be, and asking for their help to clarify any missing parts, so that you are able to capture the essence of what's being shared.

To feel understood is to feel loved so signal to others that you care to understand them.

To feel understood is to feel loved so signal to others that you care to understand them. Couple that approach with the other points in this piece and others that you encounter along the way, and you'll be equipped with a greater capacity to handle just about any communication misalignment that occurs throughout your personal or professional life.

You may also like: Anyone Can Learn Effective Communication

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