3 Phrases to Improve Communication

Heavy conversations can define your relationships and your leadership. Effective communication skills are key during these conversations.

So, to support you as an effective communicator and leader, below you’ll find …

  1. A simple process to be an effective communicator in difficult conversations
  2. Three phrases you can effectively use in heavy and life-defining conversations

Why a Process

A process provides a structured framework to achieve an optimal result. Consistently. How? It outlines a tested and true sequence of tasks and best practices that are easy for individuals to understand and apply. By following the defined process consistently, you develop habits that produce consistent and predictable results.

In the case of communication, the predictable and consistent result is better relationships, less drama, less stress, alignment, trust, kindness, connection, friendship, productivity, and peak performance.

A Process for Effective Communication

Here is a tested and true five-step process that predictably and consistently helps you to effectively communicate and have positive conversations:

  1. Look the person in the eyes
  2. Don’t worry about what you’re going to say next
  3. Pay attention to body language
  4. Acknowledge them and what’s been said
  5. Repeat back and check for understanding

Three Phrases

You understand what it means to look a person in the eyes. You understand what it means to genuinely listen without thinking about what to say next. You’re learning to understand and pay attention to body language.

So, how do you then acknowledge the person speaking to truly unlock their inhibitions and help them truly open up and trust you? This is a master skill of effective communicators, and it can do wonders for you too. Here are three phrases you can you use that help you with this skill:

  • “Sounds like you have a reason for sharing/asking that?”
  • “How do you mean?”
  • “Thank you for sharing that. I can tell that was hard for you to share.”

Simple enough, right? These are powerful phrases. Memorize them, apply them in your conversations, and you’ll be shocked at just how impactful they can be.

When This Really Counts and Matters

As a leader and mentor to others, you will have people come to you with charged emotions, difficult-to-share confessions, or in need of help with personal struggles and challenges. Their emotions will at times be directed at you as well. These are the most critical times to apply this process and skill. Here are some example you might hear:

“I don’t think I can handle this job, it’s not right for me.” “This is going to fail!” “You handled that situation poorly, that was not good!” “I can’t work with John anymore!” “You need to fire Sally!” “I need to share something with you … I’m having some severe financial struggles, and I can’t even pay for my car repairs.” “I’m not sure what to do, my kid is working through an addiction, and I’m not sure how to help him.” “I feel like my life is falling apart, my spouse just told me last night that it’s time for a divorce.”

Those are heavy conversations, and we’re sure you can think of many others you’ve had as a leader with similar weight. How do you effectively respond and communicate to maintain the relationship, support and help the person, and work through the issue? By following the process! You look the person in the eye, listen intently as you don’t think about what you’re going to say, and then respond with one of these three phrases:

“Sounds like you have a reason for sharing (or asking) that?”
“How do you mean?”
“Thank you for sharing that. I can tell that was hard for you to share.”

Listen as they then begin to expound or unload their thoughts. After you’ve listened, ensure you’ve understood by sincerely repeating back their thoughts and confirming that you’ve understood (step five in the process).

Wrapping Up

These three phrases will unlock people’s inhibitions. They’ll create genuinely open dialogue. They’ll give others a deep sense of relief and trust. They’ll unlock deeper levels of communication like you’ve previously not seen. And, that’s when you’ll see drastic improvements in trust, connection, relationships, teamwork, and productivity.

You are an exceptional leader! We hope you can use these phrases to improve your communication skills as you become your best!

“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” – Karl Menninger

Want to see other articles and posts by Becoming Your Best? Go here.

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