Summer often gives us more opportunities to socialize and have more contact with friends and family. This means we will be communicating a lot in both work and volunteer environments, and also social situations. With all of these opportunities, it seems this is a good time to review what the characteristics of positive communication are.
Words matter because they can be perceived as postive, neutral, or negative.
Negative language has a profoundly negative impact on your ability to enjoy your life and to take the actions you need because a negative mindset closes you down. It decreases your energy and ability to think. Also, it can increase conflict with other and become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In contrast, positive communication is upbeat and optimistic. A positive attitude is evident. It focuses on solutions – what you want to have happen. It is encouraging and shows caring and understanding. It can make someone feel valued and appreciated.
In positive communication, listening is an active process and used to learn more information. You listen for:
- Feelings conveyed by body language and words.
- Thoughts or ideas about a situation – including what is not said.
- Attitudes – how someone is perceiving a situation?
- Opinions – what does he or she think can be done?
- Physical aspects – what does his or her posture and body language convey?
- Facts or information about a situation – when, how, who was there?
- Recurring themes, inconsistencies, contradictions in a message.
Some of the benefits of positive communication are:
- Keeps hope alive (optimism).
- Builds relationships based on participation.
- Renews faith and confidence.
- Builds trust.
- Increases team spirit and resilience.
Positive communication seeks feedback from others because you value knowing their opinion. This information helps you determine how to proceed with a task or situation. To avoid a potential conflict, look for solutions. Practice your listening skills by using some of the different things to listen for, i.e. feelings, ideas, opinions, body language. Focus on the positive feelings you want to have when you are with others. Those feelings can be contagious and set a postive tone. Enjoy your time with others.
What helps you respond positively to others? Please respond below.
Until next time,