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How to Strengthen Your Communication Skills

How to Strengthen Your Communication Skills

Three of the most important things that you can do to strengthen your communication skills is to (1) increase your vocabulary, (2) learn to listen, and (3) practice your speech.

If you’ve spent a fair amount of time in online discussion forums or chat rooms, you may have noticed that the cause of many electronically based disagreements appear to be the misinterpretation of certain words, phrases or expressions. In some cases, a simple lack of word knowledge may become the crux of a long flame-war or worse, the end of a potentially good friendship. You can prevent this by increasing your vocabulary and if necessary, asking for clarification of the meaning of specific word. Never be embarrassed to ask what a word means even if you’re in the middle of a conversation. If you’re trying to complete a task – it’s critical that you clearly understand what is being asked of you.

You must also learn how to listen in order to effectively communicate as well. All conversation is useless if you don’t take the time to fully absorb what’s being said. After all, a conversation is based on input and its feedback – you just can’t give useful feedback if you don’t fully appreciate and accept the input. Nothing is more aggravating than giving a set of lengthy instructions to someone who isn’t listening. If you discover that you’re having trouble listening on the other hand, you can always politely interrupt your speaker and ask him or her to clarify things that you didn’t understand.

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Of course when it’s your time to speak, you certainly want to do your best to communicate your points in a way that your listener(s) can understand. Some of us are natural communicators (like talk radio hosts for instance), while others of us aren’t. But if you practice your speech, you’ll find that you’ll start to learn a few tricks to relax and speak at a rate that you’re comfortable with, or get those ‘hard to pronounce’ words out of your mouth. One trick that can help your speech flow is to visualize the words on a sheet of paper before you talk. That way when you speak, you can virtually read aloud what you’re visualizing. This is a handy trick for those impromptu moments where you’re required to answer a series of questions (as in an interview), or when you’re attempting to explain a new procedure at work in front of a group of co-workers.

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Nicole Miller is a developer and member of the Association of Shareware Professionals.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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