Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on December 8, 2020

How to Set Communication Goals to Improve Your Social Relationships

How to Set Communication Goals to Improve Your Social Relationships

Communication is essential for maintaining healthy social relationships. It is also a major vehicle of progress.

A survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers identifies communication skills as the most sought quality in job candidates.[1] Many of the setbacks experienced on the path to success can be traced to the inability to communicate accurately and effectively.

It is, therefore, essential to set communication goals to boost your reputation, strengthen your relationships, and improve your work delivery.

This article is about how to set communication goals and what those goals should include.

What Are the Goals of Communication?

Whether it is personal or corporate communication, the primary essence of communication is to inform, influence, inspire, motivate, build relationships, learn, gain inspiration, promote yourself, and socialize.[2] Communication is also used for persuasion, negotiation, and improving work delivery.

To achieve the goals of communications mentioned above and make the most of your conversations, you can deliberately set your own communication goals. You can gear these goals towards improving or developing your verbal, non-verbal, and written communication skills.

How to Write Communication Goals

1. Identify the Areas of Deficiency

Writing your communication goals begins with identifying your areas of deficiency in communication. To identify these areas, you have to evaluate your life and work, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the things that have drawn you back the most in your relationship with people or at work?
  • What feedback do you get from friends and colleagues?
  • What are the things you have been unable to achieve because of your perceived limitations in some areas of communication?

2. Define What You Want to Achieve

Now that you have identified your areas of deficiency, you need to define what you want to achieve. This would be how you want to fill the gaps that you have identified or how you want to develop yourself.

3. Outline the Goals

Outlining your communication goals involve writing out what you desire to achieve and to what extent you want to achieve them. It also includes when you intend to get results for your goals

Advertising

4. Make Your Communication Goal SMART

The idea of making goals SMART is to make your goals feasible. A popular quote about setting goals states that “a goal properly set is halfway reached.”

Many goals that are not properly set end up as unfulfilled dreams. Therefore, you have to set your goals in Specific terms, with measurable objectives, writing out how they are achievable and relevant to your needs, and the timelines you hope to achieve them.

14 Examples of Communication Goals

1. Improve on Diction

One of the things that can make your communication effective is your diction. Diction has to do with your style of speaking or writing which is determined by your choice of words when conveying an idea or point of view.[3]

Your choice of words should fit into the context in which they are used so that the listener or reader can easily understand the message you are passing across.

Master the appropriate use of words in communication contexts

2. Be More Engaging When Communicating

To be engaging is to be able to draw in a person (or an audience) with interesting content or conversation.[4] If you want your audience/recipient to commit attention when listening to you or reading from you, you have to devise ways to be engaging with your content.

Develop the set of skills required to keep an audience interested and engaged in a conversation

3. Become an Active Listener

There are two gates to the mind: the gate of the eyes, and the gate of the ear.

The key to comprehending what is being said is active listening. If there is a missing link when listening, some information may not be fully comprehended, leading to faulty feedback or response.

Advertising

Create weekly sessions for active listening without any form of distraction

4. Manage Emotions

Giving or receiving information comes with lots of emotions such as excitement, sadness, shock, fear, surprise, anger, elation, depression, hurt, etc. The expression of emotions can make or mar effective communication. Great communicators learn to put emotions under control.

Practice putting emotions under control and respond to information based on what is best in facilitating mutual understanding and progress.

5. Become Relatable

Being relatable means keeping the lines of communication open so that people can be naturally drawn to you[5].

This is an essential social and work skill. You don’t want to miss out on important information or miss the crucial feedback that you can get from people about themselves, yourself, and your work. Pull down communication barriers and develop habits and skills that make you a relatable individual.

6. Effective Email Communication

Email has become a vital tool for communication, especially for work and business. You have probably sent and received tons of emails from people you have never met, but this email contact with them has already given you some perspectives about them.

Learning how to communicate appropriately and professionally via email can help you get more cooperation from associates and win you more business. Learn how to be courteous and professional when handling email conversations.

7. Be Persuasive

Being able to sell yourself and your ideas is an essential skill. While you don’t have to always have your way when communicating with people, you have to sound convincing.

Being persuasive is a skill that would be especially useful when you are dealing with skeptics or you find yourself in a competitive environment. Learn the techniques of persuasion and apply them in conversations.

Advertising

8. Improve Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is described as “a process where two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution.”[6] This skill is essential in finding common grounds with people and avoiding reaching a deadlock in conversations.

By learning how to negotiate, you will also be able to win more things for yourself in difficult situations. Improve your negotiation skills so you can always get the best possible result.

9. Be Objective in Conversations

To be objective is to reflect on situations based on facts rather than personal feelings, self interpretations, or prejudice.

People who are not objective can be difficult to deal with as they only see things from their point of view. When you are objective, however, you will be able to look at issues with an open mind and that would lead to having robust conversations.

Let the goal of every conversation be to understand and speak of facts rather than opinions.

10. Give Constructive Criticism

Criticism is what we give when we find some inadequacies in what someone else has done. Most people are quick to point out what someone has done wrong without proferring solutions. Show people what they have done wrong, but also appreciate what they have done right and also show them how they can be better.

Develop the consciousness to always give constructive criticism.

11. Be Inspiring

To be inspiring, you need to be enthusiastic. You also have to genuinely care about people and show them how they can be their best.

Also, do things deliberately to show example and inspire others. Go all out in inspiring people with your work and deeds.

Advertising

12. Improve on Team Communication

Team communication involves all interaction and exchanges of information that goes on in a team [7].

If you are a part of a team, you need to play your part to keep the line of communication going so that the team can achieve its goals. Always communicate actively with your team to help achieve its goals.

13. Understand Body Language

Communication goes beyond what is being said. There are other things to look out if you want to comprehend the information someone is passing across and discern their intents. This includes eye contact, facial expression, gesticulation, etc.

Learn how to read body language and their implication in a conversation

14. Improve on Communication Follow-Up

Most communication encounters don’t end at once. Thus, there is the need to follow up and tie up loose ends, get feedbacks, set reminders, or move on to the next things.

Failure to follow up might lead to missing out on important outcomes. Some people might not take some matters seriously until they have been properly followed up. Follow up on important conversations and pursue matters to a reasonable end.

Final Thoughts

If you look deeper within yourself, you will find opportunities to improve your communication and make the best of your relationships. There is much to gain when you master the art of communication.

Knowing how to communicate and manage communications effectively is an essential skill both for now and for the future.

More Tips for Improving Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Mimi Thian via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide) How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips 17 Things To Avoid In Order To Reach Your Goals How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

Trending in Communication

1 Take Back Your Personal Power (Part 1) 2 Take Back Your Personal Power (Part 2) 3 When You Start to Let Go of Your Past, These 10 Things Will Happen 4 How to Learn to Let Go of What You Can’t Control 5 10 Simple Steps to Let Go of the Past

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

Advertising

At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

Advertising

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Advertising

How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Read Next