"The way we communicate with ourselves and others ultimately determines the quality of our lives." - Tony Robbins
Communication and self-development are two concepts inextricably linked to one another, you cannot improve one without improving the other.
Effective communication is your ability to clearly articulate information and ideas to yourself and others.
If you think about it, our entire lives are influenced by how effectively we can communicate concepts;
- By effectively communicating to an interview panel we can advance our careers
- By defining our personal goals, with clarity, we can construct efficient paths to success
- If we properly and genuinely communicate with a significant other, we can have more meaningful and long-lasting relationships.
We cannot expect to advance our lives without mastering the art of communication. So, here are 5 ways to improve your communication and in turn enhance your self-development.
1. Communicate with intention
When you communicate, in any context, communicate with intention. Don't just state facts to yourself or your audience, explain the relevance of why this information is important. For example, if your personal goal is to make X amount per month, always support this goal with your intention. This type of communication is far more influential than just listing points. It adds meaning and inspires action. Everything becomes clearer with a purpose.
2. Support your communication with emotion
If you want to inspire yourself, or anybody else in your life, you need to be emotive in your communications. This doesn't mean become dramatic or overly enthusiastic but simply be true to your emotions. If a particular piece of information makes you feel excited, show it. If something you are communicating makes you feel sad, then don't be afraid of showing vulnerability. "Stone-faced" communications are both boring and uninspiring. Further, when you allow yourself to connect your emotions, to external information, you are increasing your own self-awareness by understanding how you interact with the noisy world around you.
3. Relate communications to stories
By giving context to your communications, through stories, you can become a highly engaging communicator. The stories you rely upon should be real-life events and not fictional fairy tales. Stories help yourself, and others to comprehensively understand new information by relating it to similar past experiences. It gives your communications much-needed context and is also a bulletproof way for you and others to actually remember the information.
4. Be mindful of phrasing
The way your phrase communications has a powerful impact on your motivation. For example, when you are thinking about what you need to complete in a day, how often do you say "I have to do", as opposed to "I get to do", something? The people who’ve built the most fulfilling and successful lifestyles are those that spend the majority of their time in the “I get to” zone. This type of self-communication actually redefines how you perceive your life. If you spend more time in the "I get to" zone, you boost your self-confidence, morale, self-control and overall self-development. It's a communication trick that increases your daily motivation.
5. Simply communicate
Injecting unnecessary big words into your communications only stands to make what you say, confusing. If you can't explain something in a few sentences than, you haven't grasped the concept and your audience won't either. Intelligent and effective communication is about clarity. Express all communications, in their simplest form. If a complicated word is the only way to express a point, then, of course, use it but don't bolster information with long words to simply show intelligence because, in fact, it communicates the contrary. Learning how to simplify concepts also helps you to understand what you want from your life. Goals might sound great on paper, but when broken down to their core concepts might not actually provide what you desire. Ensure you understand every concept within your career and personal goal sphere, by breaking it down to it's simplest form.