When it comes to communicating with others, you need to learn the basic fundamentals, said Mark A. Siegel, director of communications for the Natural Communication Association.
The basics include speaking, reading, listening and using facial expressions, he said.
It’s important to be careful to be clear about what you’re saying and how you’re expressing it, he added.
But the key is to be able to communicate clearly, so the listener knows what’s being said.
For instance, if you’re talking about the weather, “I know it’s hot, so you know I’m going to say ‘cold’ instead of ‘hot’ so that you don’t get confused about what I’m saying.”
And then you can move on to another topic, such as what you’ve learned about someone’s personality or career, he noted.
“What you have to understand is that your audience has to hear everything you’re doing,” Siegel said.
“If you’re not really understanding what they’re trying to convey, they won’t understand you.
It takes a certain kind of human being to understand the communication needs of someone else.”
For the most part, people need to know their audience well enough to be willing to learn, Siegel added.
“It’s not just about the language.
It requires an understanding of the content of the message.
So, you have the message and the language, but you also have to be aware of the way people read it,” he said, adding that the more time you spend interacting with people, the more you can use that to your advantage.
“You need to understand how people perceive you, what they expect from you, how you interpret what they want to hear and what they are actually expecting,” Sauer said.