A business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communication. Poor communication also leads to:

  • lack of team cohesion,
  • wasted time and resources,
  • damaged relationships,
  • low employee morale and higher turnover rates,
  • lost revenue,
  • safety incidents and even injury or death.

Anyone who has done any type of training would know to improve communication you need to:

  • Actively listen,
  • Clarify,
  • Keep it simple,
  • Choose the correct communication channel,
  • Tailor to your audience,
  • Seek to understand,
  • etc, etc.

But, my favourite tip for improving communication and relationship is – VALIDATION:

Validation is a something that you can use to improve your communication immediately.  It is the act of helping someone feel heard and understood.  It doesn’t mean agreeing or approving.

You can be a good listener but poor at validation.  And, it’s often when we are time poor (which is a lot of the time) that we are really bad at it.

So, how do you do it?

  1. Be present – being present means giving all your attention to the person you are validating. Not multi-tasking, not checking email, not scrolling through your phone.  Just being present and listening.
  2. Show the other person that you recognise and accept their emotions ‘I can understand why you feel worried’, ‘that must drive you crazy’, ‘that is sad’, ‘no wonder you are excited’ etc.
  3. Do not jump to solution/fix it mode or tell them not too worry – this is invalidating and will shut down conversation. Use validation first, always

What tips do you have when it comes to improving communication and relationships?

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