7 pointers for positive communications
1. Recognize negative patterns in your speech. Avoid using negative words, like can’t, don’t, won’t. The language you use sets the tone for face-to-face conversations and less personal group meetings. Negative thoughts and negative words lead to negative results.
2. Be positive. Most people prefer to be around positive, upbeat, optimistic peers. Make your home or workplace a pleasant place to be. Use encouraging, rather than discouraging, words. Put a smile in your voice to maintain an upbeat atmosphere.
3. Be a good listener. Open your ears and open your mind. Avoid listening with preconceived notions. Listen carefully to words and concepts. Focus on the message. Show interest. Ask questions. Repeat key points in your own words to make sure you understand what you heard.
4. Build good conversational skills. Share speaking time with your audience, especially when it's an audience of one. Avoid expounding, or doing all the talking. Limit your turn to two or three sentences; then
. . . listen.
5. Notice nonverbal clues. Watch facial expressions. If you notice frowning, floundering or fidgeting; or see eyes wandering or feet shuffling, cut your part of the conversation short. Pass the baton!
6. Use discretion. There’s a right time and place for everything. Match your messages to each occasion. Don’t use humor or slang at a funeral, or be overly solemn at a wedding.
7. Be honest. Tell the truth, but always be diplomatic. Speak kindly to everyone. Use only constructive criticism. Scold gently, focusing on positive change, not on problems.
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