Despite the many technological devices now available to facilitate conversation, knowing how to communicate clearly is as necessary as ever. This process, at its simplest, involves the sender of a message communicating a need, thought or feeling and the receiver being able to understand it, counseling psychologist Will Meek explains in an article published in "Psychology Today." When you understand how to effectively communicate with others, you will likely experience less stressful, more streamlined interactions in your personal life as well as your professional life.
Communication in Families
Communication needs among immediate relatives naturally change as children grow up and the family structure shifts. Parents and teenagers often find it difficult to have a discussion that doesn’t turn into an argument. Communication is critical at this juncture, psychologist Irene M. Swerdlow-Freed asserts in “Improving Communication Between Parents and Teenagers.” Parents who refuse to be dissuaded by the difficulty and keep expressing interest in their children’s lives not only reinforce the parent-child bond but also positively impact their children's self-esteem.
Continued Connection With a Partner
While important in all relationships, effective communication is a make-or-break quality in a partnership, says Psych Central CEO John M. Grohol in “9 Steps to Better Communication Today.” The risk in an established relationship is the assumption by both partners that because they regularly share details about work or discuss other day-to-day matters effective communication is occurring. However, partners who do not continue to delve into topics of lasting importance can easily find themselves drifting apart. When those in a relationship determine to take in each other’s verbal and nonverbal messages -- responding thoughtfully and without distraction -- they open the way to a more fulfilling relationship with greater potential for the future.
Friendship On and Offline
While it may seem counterintuitive that friendship is hard to maintain when so many venues of virtual connection exist, face-to-face communication is important, says Niobe Way, a developmental psychologist with New York University, in the American Psychological Association article “R U Friends 4 Real?” Though the availability of texting, social networking and other virtual pathways can help those who may feel shy about reaching out to friends in person, this same availability can mean a deteriorating sense of true connection. When friends regularly spend time in each other’s presence, they develop both intimacy and empathy, qualities that contribute to long and lasting friendships.
A Smoothly Running Workplace
No matter what your position is at work, you can contribute to a more productive, less stressful environment by communicating openly. Having depended heavily on social networking, many college graduates find it necessary to improve their in-person communication skills when entering the workplace. When supervisors, employees and co-workers are able to effectively communicate needs and listen, transparency increases along with the mutual trust that often underlies innovation and team work.
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