2. You need to be able to identify and verbalize these thoughts and feelings.

 

The only way that I know to develop a better ability to verbalize your deepest thoughts and feelings is to practice reflecting on what those thoughts and feelings are until you really have a good hold on those thoughts and feelings, and then constantly practice trying to say what it is you think and feel.

 

3. You have to be able to accurately understand what another person is saying

 

One of the things that our research has shown over and over and over again is that it's not enough just to understand, or to try to understand, where another person is; you have to be able to accurately understand where they are. It is that accurate understanding of another person's deepest thoughts and feelings that creates a feeling of connection and bonding.

 

4. You need to be able to make conversations as personal as possible.

 

In other words, when you're talking to someone about the weather and they're going off on a trip, if you can say, "Boy, I can hear some real concern for you about the high winds today, because you're going to be out in your camper aren't you?" All of a sudden, you've understood the concern they have about the weather. It's not just concern about high winds, it's concern about high winds that might affect them in some personal way.

 

Virtually every conversation you have, if you can not only understand what another person is saying, not only understand what your inner thoughts and feelings are, if but you can make it personal in some way, you turn an ordinary conversation into an intimate conversation. It is intimate conversation that makes people think of you as a great communicator.

 

This is step one of my plan for creating better communication. In part two of this series I will give you a specific roadmap to help you achieve these four goals in an effective manner.