As humans, we have many forms of communication through our words, actions, facial expressions, body language, and more. The way that others perceive our behavior, as well as the way we interpret someone else's behavior, can have an effect on how everyone feels. So, when we are communicating, it’s important to ask ourselves, can we be more insightful? Can we see without judging? Can we effectively seek to compromise? The first step is learning how to effectively communicate.
How to Communicate
When it comes to your communication, prioritize being more self-aware. It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it with your facial expressions and body movements. Be conscious of how your behaviors could come off to others, especially if you’re having a bad day.
On the other hand, when you’re on the receiving end of communication, remember to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If your colleague is off-putting with their communication, often there's nothing to be worried about and it could be something that they are personally dealing with or a simple miscommunication. However, if you feel affected by their behavior don’t be afraid to check in with them to ensure that everything is okay.
Another important aspect of communication is choosing the best delivery method when handling different issues. If something can easily be communicated and well-received over email, then send an email. If it’s a more complex situation, be sure to meet in person or at least over video chat. If you’re trying to deal with a complicated subject over email or text, it is much more likely that you’re message will be misinterpreted. Being face to face, with the ability to view expressions and gestures, will prevent any misunderstandings.
If you wonder if your communication skills are strong or lacking, ask for feedback! There’s nothing wrong with getting the opinion of others, and they may bring concerns to your attention that you weren’t even aware of.
Even with good communication skills, we still run into conflict, which is okay! Now, we must know how to deal with this conflict by being our own mediators.
How to Compromise
First, it’s important to come to an agreement on why the conflict arose because you can’t find a solution without knowing the root of the problem. Generally, the bottom line of all arguments is emotions; a conflict starts because two people have different feelings about something. Our natural emotions dictate how we feel, and sometimes this can cloud our judgment and bias our evidence and viewpoint. As humans, we like to seek evidence to support our feelings and beliefs. So, if you are personally mediating difficulties, try to remain emotionally detached.
It is also necessary to look at the other person's point of view and find it within you to see without judging. Be mindful of your judgments and possible biases, acknowledge them when they wander into your thoughts, and move on. Take time to hear the other person’s position and listen to understand, not find defenses and arguments. Find some validity in what the other person is saying and remember that keeping an open mind is essential to be able to find the best solution.
Overall, when dealing with conflicts it should be both sides against the problem, not each other. You both are working towards the same goal! You must intentionally seek compromise to reach one.