MAKE YOURSELF HEARD – Communicate effectively
“Establishing and developing effective communication is important in order to be heard and change your environment according to your own thoughts,” says Monique Harrisberg doyen of voice training and CEO of one of the most successful communication training companies in South Africa. No one will guess what you want or what you think if you don’t tell them, and nothing is going to change if you do not propose a change. ” It’s important not to be afraid of speaking, to always defend what you want to say, express exactly what you mean to say, and listen while you are not speaking, ”explains Harrisberg.
The first aspect to communicate effectively is not to be afraid of speaking. Anytime you need to say something, go ahead and do it. Most people are afraid of speaking because they are not sure if it is the right thing to say and/or the right moment to say it. Become confident, say what you want to say, and do not regret it.” If you speak you will be heard and taken into account. Avoid saying something that will hurt somebody’s feelings. Unless something has to be said inevitably, say it, but as softly and gently as you can. Never hurt anyone intentionally. Always think twice before saying something.” You choose what to say, just be sure to say the right thing at the right time, if you do that, you won’t regret a thing,” she says.
Secondly,if you want to communicate effectively, defend what you say. Once you have said something you can never go backward; you must back it up.” The worst thing that you can do when speaking is to hesitate, says Harrisberg. “Hesitance means self-insecurity and this means weakness. The strength of your words will surely determine their effect on the listener, explains Harrisberg. The way that you speak and the content of your speech tell a lot about yourself and your personality. A conversation allows speakers and listeners to get to know each other better. Besides, people will only know what you say; they cannot go any further if you do not let them. It is only by means of intelligence, strength, and security that you will be able to change the world around you. And, it is also by means of intelligence, strength, and security that you will be heard and taken into account.
Thirdly, express exactly what you mean to say. Pick up the words that will express exactly what you are thinking of. Do not forget that one half of a word belongs to the listener and the other to the speaker. The listener gets his or her own version of what is said. “However your job is to express yourself clearly, so that you can avoid misunderstandings. Although, avoiding misunderstandings is a hard task (not impossible), when it is achieved you will be expressing yourself effectively.” Harrisberg says. Everybody will be able to identify exactly what you say, what you think, and what you want. Words are double edged weapons which can be used either to defend or to attack. If you make a good use of them, you will be able to do almost everything.
It is important to listen and not to interrupt when it is no longer your turn to speak. You will surely learn new things from listening to others. If a person is speaking, it’s because she or he wants to be heard. Effective communication is based on both listening and speaking. If communication were based only on speaking, it would be an absolute tyranny. Nevertheless, communication is the means through which you express yourself in order to be heard and change your environment according to your own version of reality. Thus, it would be impossible to change anything if there were no one to listen, learn, and accept new ideas. “Listening is a gift, and good listeners are appreciated because there are only a few,” Harrisberg concludes.
Effective communication will help you to express yourself better, allow you to let other people express themselves. Words inspire no fear. Speak them. Words make you strong. Support them. Words show what you are and what you think. Do not let yourself be misunderstood. Words are valuable. Listen to them!