There are lots of different types of people in this world, each with different experiences, beliefs, values, and goals. Each has a unique interpretation of what is right and wrong. For Emma Vites, effective communication begins with this understanding.
The biggest barrier to effective communication is the belief that only you are ‘right’ in your thought processes and that other people are ‘wrong’. It can be so easy to think, “That’s just not right” when hearing something that you don’t agree. Even worse, you can upset others by declaring their opinions to be ‘embarrassing’ or ‘wrong’.
It is important to realise that not everybody thinks the same way. Each of us is exposed to different ideas and concepts. Of course, the person who has travelled the world, lived on a different continent, met new people, and read books will have a different thought process than will the person who has stayed in their native neighbourhood all their life.
This doesn’t mean that the person who has travelled is right about everything, just that they have been exposed to different things and will therefore have a different perspective.
What we need to realise is that everyone’s subconscious is filled with different influences. Everyone has had a different upbringing with different parents, different friends, teachers, media influences, and work experiences. All of these factors create the person’s thoughts and perspectives. We need to keep this in mind when we are communicating with other people. We need to start thinking about everything from the other person’s point of view and figuratively place ourselves into their heads. This really helps when you are angry with someone. If you can start seeing things from their perspective, you will begin to understand why the person spoke or acted the way that they did.
What we also need to remember is that there are gender differences to take into account when communicating effectively. John Gray delves into this topic heavily in his brilliant book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Men and women have different styles of communicating and different ways that they want to be communicated with as well. When communicating with women, it is important to listen and empathize. With men, be direct and to the point.
Added to this, everyone has a different personality type and a preferred way to be communicated with. If you complete the personality questionnaire, a link to which you’ll find below, you can discover your personality type. The model is called iMA, and the concept is that everyone possesses one of four personality styles and, therefore, each individual only naturally connects with 25 per cent of the population. The flip side of this is that there is 75 per cent of the population that most individuals won’t naturally connect with.
Again, this is important to realise when communicating effectively; each personality style has a preferred way of being communicated with. If you learn this, you will be a successful communicator.
The moral of the story is that everyone is different; they have all had different influences that have formulated their opinions and beliefs. It is important to empathise with the person you are communicating with, put yourself into their shoes, and understand that each and everyone one of us is ‘right’ in our own individual map and model of the world.
To take the iMA personality test, click here: ima-connecting.com