One may think that having effective communication skills, such as active listening, rephrasing and paraphrasing, may be sufficient at mastering the craft.
While techniques for effective communication are necessary, three additional qualities take you from being a good communicator to being a great one.
- Being Genuine – A person who is genuine is presenting themselves at face value, without a mask so to speak. They speak from the heart and have a ‘what you see is what you get’ attitude. They are self aware, able to clearly express themselves and accept themselves for who they are. To connect to another, you need to be open. An inauthentic person is wearing a mask, hiding their true feelings and intentions. Communication on this level is missing several necessary elements necessary for effective communication.
- Respect – We need to be able to view others with respect. We need to appreciate where they are coming from, accept them as they are, and be open to treating them as equals on a human level. No one likes everyone. However, we need to show honor and esteem for a person as an individual.
- Empathy – To empathize is to put yourself in another person’s shoes. Empathy is the ability to share in another’s emotions and feelings, ie: to understand. We cannot assume that person is thinking or feeling as we would in the same situation. Effective communication requires us to consider a different perspective.