Online Communication 101
We all know the frustrations of trying to communicate online at times. Messages become mixed or misinterpreted and tempers start to flare and you have no idea how a seemingly innocent comment lead to this. Being aware of how you communicate and why is an important step for improving your chances of getting your message across correctly the first time.
Communication is the foundation of human behaviour because it keeps us connected. Connection is the number one factor in all mental health, all physical health and happiness. According to Albert Mehrabian in his key book on non-verbal communication ‘Silent Messages’ when communicating feelings and attitudes:
7% of meaning in the words that are spoken.
38% of meaning is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
55% of meaning is in facial expression.
This is why it can be especially difficult to convey what we are saying through text. We lack any opportunity to assess tone and expression. If you are unable to communicate effectively, chances are this will create roadblock in your connections with others.
Think about it. If your communication is aggressive you are going to receive aggression back. If you communicate in a passive way, you are more likely to be walked over and less likely to get what you want. If you are passive-aggressive you are more likely to be met with sarcasm and your message will be misinterpreted. By successfully getting your message across, you convey your thoughts and ideas effectively. When not successful, the thoughts and ideas that you send do not necessarily reflect your own. This causes a communication breakdown and ultimately leading to you suffering unnecessarily.
Communication problems can stand in the way of both personal and professional goals.
How can we communicate effectively so that our needs are met? BE ASSERTIVE.
Assertive messages are typically comprised of three parts
1. Describe what is happening (without personal comments).
2. How this makes YOU feel.
3. What you would like to happen instead or consequences.
Also you may want to ask yourself – Is my response or opinion to this situation necessary? Why am I responding this way? What is me responding in this way doing for me?
Being open and honest to yourself and others will get you further than beings aggressive or sarcastic. You are more likely to create better dialogue that way.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel good to be assertive, sometimes when someone comes off as aggressive, our natural respons, as I mentioned earlier, is to be aggressive back. Why? Because there is an emotion attachment connected to your behaviour.
It is important to take responsibility for your feelings and behaviours. Your ABILITY TO RESPOND in the most effective way to any given situation will ultimately leave you more content.
There is a Dialectical behavioural therapy saying that goes: “emotions love themselves”. This means that when we have negative emotions we are more likely to do things that keep those emotions alive. So what I would suggest is doing the opposite action to your natural response. Meet anger with kindness and openness. Do it for a week and see how you feel. Remember, it is not about you giving in to anyone, it is not about agreeing with anyone, it is more about your own emotions and practicing providing yourself with positive emotions that will transcend into your everyday life.
More effective communication is something we can all work on every day. What things could you be working on this week to improve the way you communicate? Let us know in the comments!