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Five Thoughts About Effective Communication

Jackie Fletcher -- "Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after."-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh. "I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up." -- Tom Lehrer

Communicating effectively can sometimes be difficult to do. So here are some thoughts, based on borrowed wisdom, on how to communicate clearly -- and make a better connection with the other person, too.

"To get your ideas across use small words, big ideas, and short sentences." -- John Henry Patterson

Keep it simple and don't use jargon. Adjust your style according to who you are communicating with. Take responsibility by checking frequently that the other person understands the message you are trying to convey -- don't assume that your message is always clear.

"People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves." -- Dale Carnegie

Find out about the other person. Focus on the other person -- their needs, their wants, their situation. Build rapport instead of barriers. Show respect for them and for their views.

"One of the most valuable things we can do to heal one another is listen to each other's stories." -- Rebecca Falls

Giving someone space in which to talk and allowing them to follow through their ideas without fear of interruption is a most valuable gift. Listen. And switch off your mobile phone!

"Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." -- Stephen Covey

Be in the moment and give the speaker your full attention. Say "what else do you need to tell me about this?" Summarise key points that show you have been listening actively and ask questions that will help clarify your understanding of the issue.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." -- Mother Teresa

Be nice! Acknowledge someone's efforts and achievements, praise them, pay them a sincere compliment.

Jackie Fletcher is a life satisfaction and mentor coach, working with busy professionals, small business owners and new coaches, helping them create and live the life they really want -- balanced, successful, and happy. For more information visit

© 2006 Jackie Fletcher

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.