Thursday, May 26, 2011

Successful Interpersonal Communication?

Whether you’re deciding if you should accept or what to charge for a freelance assignment, finding out parameters of a new project at work, what’s expected of your kids at school (and what you as parents are expected to contribute) or dealing with your significant other or family members, successful communication is the key to a positive, rewarding outcome.

The problem is that people communicate in different ways. We’re required to take trigonometry or calculus and other subjects the vast majority of us rarely or never need. Yet we communicate with a variety of people every day. We may have to take public speaking, but why isn’t there a mandatory Interpersonal Communications course, in both high school (to facilitate relationships with parents and peers) and college (so students learn how to present themselves in work situations...many young’uns I see apparently haven’t learned how to be professional)? The prevalence of relatively new forms of corresponding, such as texting and social media, make knowledge of quality communication even more crucial.

Dozens of methods for improving communication exist, from books such as Men Are From Mars... to tests such as Myers-Briggs® (I’m an ENTJ, by the way) to marriage counselors to assorted kinds of presentation consultants to advice on the Internet. But many may not avail themselves of any of these options, either because of cost, time involved, or not realizing they could benefit from them.

Also, we don’t always know all the right questions to ask. Nor do others always offer up all the information we might need. The more people involved in a given situation, the more ripples lack of or unclear information can have. Some people fear speaking their mind or are shy, some become defensive and so aren’t willing to listen to or accept others’ opinions.

What kind of communicator are you? Here are a few articles/sites:

Chris Witt

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