Communicate Better

Epictetus said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” You can improve your personal life and work experiences if you learn how to become a better communicator when speaking to others; face to face. Follow these steps to become a better communicator today.

Look at Others

Samuel Richardson said, "Where words are restrained, the eyes often talk a great deal." Charlotte Bronte wrote, "The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter - often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter - in the eye." The advice from Richardson and Bronte should encourage you to look at others when speaking with them so that you don't miss any important cues that you can read from their eyes. If you don't look at others when speaking with them, that shows the person that you don't care enough to connect with them through the conversation. Make more of an impact and connection with people by looking at them while talking. 

Start Listening More

This sounds simple, but it's a great place to begin your journey as a more effective communicator. Follow the sage advice that Epictetus gave long ago by listening more than you speak. Talking louder than someone else just so your words can be heard is rude. You need to find that delicate balance in every conversation you have by being a good listener and also sharing your opinions and ideas. 

Positive Body Language and Tone

Christopher Voss said, "Body language and tone of voice - not words - are our most powerful assessment tools." When speaking with others, make a concerted effort to demonstrate that you are an active participant in the conversation. Keep your tone of voice even and friendly. Don't raise your voice or try to talk over someone.

Stay Calm at All Costs

It's important to stay calm and not let your temper get out of control when speaking with others. You need to cultivate the skill of responding and not reacting to what people say. It's true, you won't agree with everyone all the time. However, if you want to continue to cultivate a higher emotional intelligence (EQ) level, then you must converse with people in a responsive way - not a reactive one. For example, if someone starts getting tense and you can gauge this by their heightened body language and sharper tone of voice, stay calm. Try to redirect the conversation by calmly asking them why they feel upset and allow them to explain their feelings. If they continue to engage in a combative way, tell them that you think it's best to continue the conversation when cooler heads can prevail.

Sometimes, you may be the one reacting and not responding calmly. You need to develop an internal EQ thermometer that can alert you to the possibility that you are getting reactive and possibly combative. That's when you--hopefully as a mature person with a high EQ--can walk away from the conversation and return later when calmer. Getting angry will only lead to more conflict. Focus on positive interactions where communication is responsive and respectful.

Become a Better Communicator Today

By following the tips shared in this article, you can start your journey to become a better communicator today. Learn to listen more and maintain good eye contact. Keep your body language and tone positive. Always remain calm and cultivate a positive emotional intelligence level.