• Karima Muhammad

Get Your Relationships In Order: 5 Steps To Becoming A Good Communicator

In this article, you will learn how to become adept at non-adversarial communication and conflict management. Miscommunication in several areas we will discuss can cause needless disruptive conflict. Here are five steps to consider to help you become a good communicator, helping form strong relationships with others that will last good times and bad.

#1. Discernment

Discernment is the ability to have good judgment and notice details, looking beyond a situation's surface. Often it is common practice to express thoughts but not feelings. When we are discerning, we will not just hear the words someone is saying but also understand why they used them and how they feel. Then we can tailor our responses accordingly to avoid or diffuse conflicts.

#2. Needs

Honest self-analysis is first needed to determine how we feel and what our needs indeed are. Then we can find a way to help others understand them, thus avoiding displays of frustration and anger when those needs are unsatisfied. Do we need more empathy or more support? Be specific. Try to work out what their needs are in turn, or better yet, kindly ask.

#3. Active listening

Ever noticed in an argument, you end up repeating the same point over and over? Usually louder each time? This problem happens because neither you nor the other person is listening effectively. Active listening is an essential tool to help avoid this vicious cycle. How to do it? While the other person is speaking, avoid thinking about what you're going to say next. Resist the urge to interrupt at all costs. Then, rephrase what the other person has said (Carl Rogers & Richard Farson, 1957). If the other person is on board, you can repeat what they have said aloud or take notes. This method will show that you are trying to hear them and value what they have to say.

#4. Body language

A picture paints a thousand words, and body language is the picture of the communication world. A discerning person will gain clues of how a person feels by the way they are holding themselves (Gerard Nierenberg & Henry H Calero, 1971). Does something indicate they are feeling attacked, like folded arms? Are they biting their cheek or nails? This body language could mean anxiety. We can avoid conflict if we alter our words or tone to help alleviate these feelings. Perhaps they are continually yawning, and it may be best to continue the discussion at a time when they are not exhausted. Please pay attention to your body language, making sure it isn't aggressive. Relax your arms, turn towards the listener, look at them without a stern expression, and keep your voice calm.

#5. Watch your language

Think about the words you say and how someone will perceive what you say. Be patient; don't yell things out only to say something you'll regret. Use positive language such as 'I would like you to…' rather than negative phrases like 'I hate it when you…'. Start sentences with 'I feel…' and avoid accusatory language like 'you never….' (Marshall Rosenberg, 1960).

If you can implement the advice above, it will positively impact all your relationships, diffuse disruptive conflicts, and you will be able to enjoy good communication with those around you. For more information, please get in touch with us at

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