Nurturing skills is achieved largely through practice, and it matters not what skill you are trying to develop. Let us use classical music and golf, two of my primary interests - first, when taking up a new musical instrument, say, the violin, you need extensive practice before you can perform a concert. In martial arts you need to get on the mat many times each week to practice and perfect the technique.
Nurturing skills is achieved largely through practice, and it matters not what skill you are trying to develop. Let us use classical music and golf, two of my primary interests – first, when taking up a new musical instrument, say, the violin, you need extensive practice before you can perform a concert. In martial arts you need to get on the mat many times each week to practice and perfect the technique.
The process of improving our communication habits is no exception as it too needs practice. The problem with holding difficult conversations is we often find ourselves in performance mode before we have the chance. Going back to communication, it would behoove you to learn the essential skills and practice them, to avoid situations comparable to the one just stated in the last sentence.
There are many excellent books, teachers, and workshops that will teach the skills, then help you to practice and improve. Seek them out. Make a commitment to read one book or attend a workshop every few months.
While it’s a good thing to learn from those good conversations you had in a day, it is better to take note of those conversations that didn’t go too well. By bringing awareness to what you did well and what you might have done differently, you gradually become more proficient. You want to be a sentient and purposeful communicator, and the only way to achieve this is through practice – here are some tips that could help you along the way.
Have More Awareness. Discern whether your communication style is bringing you the desired effects. If it isn’t, then go back to the drawing board.
Make Concessions. What is the main intent of your communication? What is theirs? Remember that both parties innately try to do their best at all times, so do not jump into conclusions about your partner when communicating.
Keep it safe. Do not lose sight of that positivity, and keep yourself calm, relaxed and courteous when dealing with other people.
Nurture Your Curious Side. A lot of us lose that curious side of ours when we move into adulthood – bring it back and keep your state of mind interested and open to new things. That’s what sets naturally curious children apart from the average, indifferent adult, for lack of a better term – they have the intent, you have the innate skills to respond, so why not have both for a change?
Constant and Consistent Practice! Experiment with different techniques as it would be fit. If you tend toward a passive and accommodating style, try offering a different opinion on occasion. If the opposite is true and you are on the talkative side, stop yourself and listen more. Ask questions. Try being curious.
Here’s an old chestnut to close this article – so there’s this tourist who asked a New Yorker how he can get to Carnegie Hall. The New Yorker replied: “Practice!” An oldie but a goodie as far as good jokes go. You cannot rush change, that’s basically what I’m trying to prove here. One adjustment per day would be fine. Review each nugget of advice I have shared to you and choose your favorite. Let me know what happens. Savor the new-found confidence and skills that you have cultivated. And most importantly, PRACTICE but don’t forget to have fun!