photo of a man and a woman at a dinner party

Why Bother to Improve Communication Skills?

Why Bother to Improve Communication Skills?

Communication is key to any relationship. If we want to have affable, cohesive, and lasting connections both personally and professionally then knowing how best to communicate will be a high priority for us.  

Speaking our minds in a way to be understood has been a topic of study for many scholars.  One such intellect narrowed the types of communicators down to four styles; direct, initiation, supportive and analytical. 

Motivated to Improve

Briefly, those with a direct manner of communicating are decisive. Some may even describe them as being rude or blunt. They like to get to the point without wasting any time.  

Someone who communicates with an initiating style is quite social, likable, and fun. As a matter of fact, when they’ve finished conveying information, you might be left wondering, what was their point?  

People with a supportive manner of communicating are in no hurry. They are relaxed, very personal and listen more than talk. The greatest challenge with this type of communicator is they lose track of time. Suddenly a five minute exchange becomes thirty. 

Finally, there is the analytical. They are precise, cautious, and serious. At times their analysis paralyzes them from making any decisions at all.   

Given these points, what happens when a person whose preference of communication is to be direct, marries someone who prefers an analytical method of communication instead? Unless the couple is motivated to alter their preferred style, the relationship won’t last very long. 

It wasn’t until I, the direct communicator, married my husband, an analytical communicator, realized that I needed to expand my knowledge as a communicator. My method of directness fell short of encouraging friendly exchanges between me and my husband. As a matter of fact, my bluntness had a way of shutting him down, silencing him and producing a great disinterest in what I had to say. 

Since I loved my husband and did not want our relationship to end in a divorce, I learned by experimenting how to develop my communication skills. First, I made the decision to talk less and listen more. Secondly, I gave him the time he needed to formulate his responses. Thirdly, I spoke using a different cadence. Instead of staccato, short detached statements said quickly, I learned legato, flowing, softer speech. 

Though I have my preferred style of communicating, I also know how best to mesh, combine and collate other styles for the sake of relating. 

Why bother to improve our style of communicating? When it comes to the people in our lives, they are worth our effort to discover the best way to understand and to be understood.

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