Many indicate sociability and sociability as a personal advantage, emphasizing it when applying for a job, when applying for a new position. But are all these people really sociable? This article will tell you how to develop the ability to communicate.
Why is this needed?
The need for communication is as strong as the basic human needs. It is pleasant to be sociable, because it is not difficult for such people to choose the right words in a given situation, to make new acquaintances. Communicating with the circle of people familiar to us with ease is not yet a sign of high sociability, because such communication often occurs non-verbally. People who know us well understand us literally from a half-word. But in an unfamiliar environment, surrounded by strangers, a person with poor communication skills can get confused.
The level of sociability largely depends on the temperament, character, upbringing, education, as well as the religiosity of a particular person. But there are no barriers to becoming more sociable. And absolutely every mentally healthy person at any age can improve their level of sociability.
What is it for? With the expansion of communication capabilities, a person becomes more open to the world around him. He can easily make friends, maintain business communication. It becomes easier to form and express your point of view, due to which self-confidence grows, self-esteem increases.
Sociable people are more flexible, they adapt more easily to new unexpected circumstances.
Psychologists have proven that sociable people learn more easily, think broadly, they have a more developed outlook. At the same time, it is worth clearly separating a sociable person from a pathologically needing to speak. He always knows the measure, does not say too much, he has a developed sense of tact, there is an adequate sense of humor. It’s easy for everyone around him.
Sociable people have a special charm that makes them more attractive to members of the opposite sex. He does not experience internal tension when communicating, and the interlocutors feel this very well, starting to trust the person intuitively. That is why it is easier for sociable people to build personal relationships, get married, get a job.
Reasons for communication problems
Problems with sociability are varied, but, as a rule, they are caused by similar reasons. And before you move on to taking action to improve your personal level of communication, you need to understand why you do not naturally naturally communicate freely with others. The reasons may be as follows.
A person may be shy because of a low level of self-confidence and their abilities. He is uncommunicative not at all because he does not need communication, but because he does not feel confident that he can please the interlocutor, make a favorable impression on him. The origin of shyness itself may stem from childhood, when self-esteem was formed abnormally, more often it is underestimated.
Sometimes people become shy in adolescence due to an unsuccessful experience of communicating with peers, an unsuccessful experience of the first relationship, dissatisfaction with their own appearance.
Lack of knowledge, limited vocabulary
Sometimes a person is silent not at all because he is shy or afraid to say something, but he simply has nothing to say. He does not understand what it is about, the subject of conversation is completely unfamiliar to him.
If this happens often, this is an occasion to think about self-education, broadening one’s horizons, and building a rich vocabulary.
Sometimes a person is closed and silent due to innate characteristics, temperament. For example, an introvert communicates with people little and sparingly, while not asking questions about how to improve sociability, he is already fine. Personality features imply complete harmony alone or in an extremely narrow circle.
A number of mental disorders and diseases are also accompanied by distortions in sociability, up to a complete lack of opportunity and desire to communicate with people around.
Such cases of self-correction are not subject to, without the help of a qualified specialist and appropriate treatment, one cannot do.
How can communication skills be improved?
An interesting person is always more successful in his work. This is not how they are born. Despite the influence of temperament, basic communication skills can be developed, learn to interact with others most effectively. You need to start by identifying the possible causes of communication problems.
Having established what exactly prevents you from feeling free in a team, maintaining any conversation, you can quickly stop feeling awkward and understand in which direction you will move on.
From this day on, start monitoring yourself during any, even fleeting, communication. For the rest, basic recommendations will help, which men and women, girls and boys, teenagers and pensioners can use with equal efficiency.
- Language of the body. Often in a company we worry about how we sound and what we say. At the same time, we forget about body language. And it can tell others a lot of interesting things. Friendly and sociable people do not hide their eyes, they are always open when communicating. During communication, they will not be distracted by messages on a mobile phone, by studying some small details on their own clothes. Learn to look directly into the eyes, communicate with the interlocutor with maximum interest. Non-verbal messages from your body should clearly indicate that you are interested in the subject of the conversation. Start taking control of your body gradually, from your hands. Your hands should complement your speech, illustrating certain semantic accents of speech with gestures. If the hands “hang” limply or move restlessly randomly, this makes a negative impression on the interlocutor. Learn to read the body language of your interlocutors.
Posture, facial expressions, head turn, position of arms, legs — all this will help you more subtly feel the mood of your counterpart and be more correct in communicating with him.
- Parasite words. Try recording your speech on a voice recorder and listen to it carefully. If in a conversation you use parasitic words, redundant interjections like “uhm” or “aah” to connect words and thoughts, try to get rid of them. There is nothing more painful than listening to the speech of a person who generously supplements the information provided with such «parasites». A person who does not use such interjections and words gives the impression of self-confidence, thinking clearly and clearly.
At the beginning of the path it will be difficult, «parasites» will break out unconsciously. It will take a lot of effort for self-control.
- Make a scenario plan. Each person has a number of «uncomfortable» questions, to which it is always difficult for him to give answers, which baffle him. For some, these are questions about work and profession, for others — about children and family life. Decide on a list of your «uncomfortable» questions and make plans for answering them in advance. If it is difficult to communicate with strangers on minor general topics, it is also worth considering in advance what you could talk about. This can help overcome awkwardness in those situations that previously silenced.
- Tell stories. Whatever you tell, try to tell exactly the story — it should have a beginning, development, climax and ending. In this form, reports and presentations made by you will be interesting, and conversations with interlocutors will become exciting. Very soon you will begin to enjoy the glory of an interesting storyteller.
- Ask more questions. Most shy people and those who end up having trouble communicating have one thing in common — they’re afraid or don’t like to ask. Some are worried that they will seem importunate or stupid, specifying something, others simply cannot formulate the question. Teach yourself to be sure to ask questions to the interlocutor. This will show him that you are interested in the subject of the conversation. If there is absolutely nothing to ask, you can simply repeat the last statements of the counterpart in an interrogative form. This will encourage him to continue the story.
The main thing is not to focus on the form of the question, but to carefully listen to the answer to it.
- Focus your attention. It is not necessary to pierce the counterpart with a glance, it is enough not to be distracted from communication by messages and phone notifications. If you have an important meeting that is important to you, it is better to turn off your phone altogether or put it on silent mode.
For important meetings, choose quiet and peaceful places. An obstacle to establishing understanding between interlocutors can be not only your smartphone, but also the usual background hum and noise around.
- Feedback. When reading a report, telling something to a large audience or one interlocutor, avoid monotony and abstraction in the story. If the words are not related to the interlocutor or listeners, they will not make a big impression on them. Always try to include them in the story, make them participants in the story — “And what do you think happened next? That’s right, exactly what you thought happened! ”,“ What would you do in my place?
Such references to the listeners will make them direct participants in the story.
- Develop empathy. The greatest success in communication is achieved by those who can empathize with the interlocutor, that is, they show empathy. Put yourself in the place of your counterpart more often, try to imagine his emotions, feel them. As a result, you will learn not only to empathize, but also to clearly see when the interlocutor is tired, when he needs to be alone with himself, when the topic baffles him.
- Listen. This is the main advice. If you learn not only to pretend to listen, but to really listen, trying to remember information, fix images and facts, this will be the best way to improve your communication skills.
Some exercises will help you improve your communication skills. Practice them individually or in a circle of loved ones, at work in a team. They will help you relax and begin to communicate freely, without experiencing difficulties. All the exercises described below are aimed at reducing and removing internal barriers.
- «Tell». This exercise helps to gain confidence in communication. It is better if you train in the company, but in extreme cases, you can do it together. The task of each is to tell in turn about one of the objects belonging to him — where he came from, under what circumstances he got to the owner, for what he is used. While one speaks, the others ask clarifying questions.
- «Bazaar of the East». The exercise will help improve professional and business communication skills. On pieces of paper, each participant writes his name in five copies. The papers are folded and put into one box. Then each draws 5 pieces of paper. It is important at all costs to convince the interlocutors to give you pieces of paper with your name on them. The first one to collect a complete set of their pieces of paper wins.
- «In other words». This exercise will teach you to convey the meaning of the same phrase in different words, will contribute to the development of vocabulary and variability, flexibility in communication. The basis is a phrase of 5-7 words. It must be repeated from participant to participant, without repeating any of the previously said words, choosing understandable and relevant synonyms.
- «Similar people». This exercise will help you quickly learn to communicate with familiar and unfamiliar people. The task of the two interlocutors is to find as many common features and characteristics as possible in five minutes of the allotted time, identifying points of contact with each other.
- «Alone with myself». Left alone with yourself, you can have a dialogue with yourself, a pet, any tea cup as if they could give real answers.
On the way to developing our own communication skills, we most often make the same mistakes that do not allow us to gain freedom of communication.
- You don’t know how to listen. It seems to you that you have already received the necessary amount of information from the interlocutor, and there is no point in continuing. But words are just a screen. The emotions and feelings that the interlocutor is trying to convey to you have true value. Listen to them.
- You are losing contact. Starting to tell something, you may not keep the internal focus on the interlocutor and move away from him. And then your speech turns into a monotonous tirade. To maintain contact, constantly train this skill, select only accurate and correct words, read more and develop logical thinking and observation.
- You are lying. A lie separates us even from the most beloved and close people — children and parents. Lying is not conducive to establishing communication or establishing long-term and productive relationships with people. Just accept it as a fact, gather your inner will into a fist and forbid yourself to tell a lie.
- You are stingy with emotions. If you say the right things, but do it tensely and mechanically like a robot, you are unlikely to be considered interesting. Watch your facial expressions, liveliness in communication, look in the mirror, how you express joy or anger, what are the gestures and facial expressions. Do not be afraid of emotions, do not hide them, they allow us to better understand each other.
- You don’t want to develop. Often, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts, people quit training, believing that they are “not given” to communicate. You don’t need to look for reasons why you didn’t succeed today, you need to look for opportunities to realize your plans after all.
- You seek approval from others. This deprives you of independence and reduces critical thinking. This habit is considered typical of children, and adults should get rid of it as soon as possible.
- Your thinking is negative. People with negative attitudes, pessimistic views on life can rarely communicate effectively and interestingly. Such thinking necessarily forms negative speech, critical statements, rudeness, insults.
Shift the focus of your inner attention from what causes negativity to what you would like to receive.
Modern psychology offers many developments and techniques, recommendations for the development of communication skills. There are many interesting books, articles, you can sign up for webinars or courses. In any case, basic advice from experts will come in handy.
- Imagine yourself as a child more often when communicating, this will help to listen more interestedly and ask questions of counterparts.
- Do not limit contacts, constantly expand them both on the Internet and in the real world.
- Do not transfer your experienced negative experience to all people, learn to trust them. Distrust is divisive.
- Often put yourself in the place of the interlocutor. Try to feel what he is going through, try on the events and facts described by him. This will help you understand each other better.
- Develop your horizons, read and watch movies, learn something new every day.