Recently, I asked my friends on Facebook to share some of their biggest problems that they have when communicating with others. To my surprise people started to share… and share. It was great! When everything was said and done I found that I was not alone with my own weaknesses in communicating. I found myself very encouraged.
I began to study some of the common problems and I wanted to share a few thoughts. Enjoy as we walk through 3 common problems when communicating to others!
1 – Over communicate
Sometimes we want people to know what we are thinking or we want them to understand the entire story. This often comes from a desire to get people to better understand where we are coming from or to share our experience. However, the result is often people checking out or not wanting to talk to us (unless they have a couple of hours). So what do you do?
- Try thinking through the main point that you want to tell them.
- Tell them that point.
- Use the story as an illustration for the point.
- Leave off unimportant information that does not help further the point / narrative.
- If you see them starting to check out (eyes glass over, drool, yawning, etc.) then wrap the story up. 🙂
2 – Interrupting
This is a huge problem and very frustrating. It often happens that someone is really engaged in a conversation but they hear a word or idea that immediately triggers another thought and they desperately don’t want to lose the thought. So… they interrupt. The intention is mostly innocent but it is a bad habit. Here are a few thoughts…
- When someone is talking, let them finish… even if they are very slow and your mind out performs their words a million to one… LET THEM FINISH!
- If you have an important thought that you don’t want to forget then figure out a signal to remind yourself of what to say (I use sign language. I make the first letter of the word that I want to remember in my right hand. When the other person has finished speaking I am reminded what I want to say because of the letter I am signing. You may have other even more helpful ideas. Use them.).
- Consider others better than yourself. Before speaking, consider how this interruption is going to make them feel. I had a conversation with someone recently. They kept asking me questions and when I started to answer they would interrupt and keep going. That happened a dozen times! Super frustrating! I wondered if I was even needed in the conversation!
3 – Insecurity
There are times when we speak to people that we become insecure. It can be due to not feeling adequate with the subject or the person with whom we are speaking. It can also be due to feeling inadequate about our self! Here are a few additional ideas to help with insecurity while speaking.
- Have some confidence in who you are! You were created in the image of God (Gen 1). Keep your head up, maintain eye contact (not in a weird way), throw your shoulders back and remember that “God never made junk!”
- Remember what your grandma said, “They put their pants on the same way you do!” Who knows, they probably struggle with similar insecurities. It’s okay!
- In all fairness, don’t speak with authority on topics that you do not understand. Listen and ask questions.
These are just 3 common problems. However, there are many! Can you relate to these problems or do you have other problems that you struggle with while communicating? Keep your head up and I look forward to hearing from you (post below)!