Better Manhood Skills: Be a Good Communicator

Earlier in this series about creating a better roadmap to manhood, I summarized what I believed were the Hard Skills of Better Men. I also introduced you to the reasons why we need equally important soft skills. Similar to Behavior Management, the soft skill of communicating well is a mark of maturity in a man. It helps you show respect to others and help you be respected as a good and proper man in the world. 

Let’s explore the benefits of traits of communicating well.

Benefits of Good Communication Skills

Becoming a good communicator will help both your personal and professional life, specifically providing several benefits:

  • Builds Stronger Relationships: Trust, understanding, and rapport in personal and professional relationships is critical. It helps you connect with others on a deeper level and fosters more meaningful connections.
  • Resolve Conflict More Effectively: You can address conflicts and disagreements more easily by expressing your perspective clearly and listening well to others, which leads to better outcomes.
  • Demonstrates Emotional Intelligence: Effective communicators possess higher levels of emotional intelligence. They recognize and manage their own emotions while also understanding and responding well to others’ feelings.
  • Improves Mental Health: Being able to express your thoughts and feelings reduces stress and anxiety. Good communication promotes open conversations about mental health, reducing stigma and increasing support for those struggling.
  • Increases Your Influence: Persuade and influence others more effectively. Whether in negotiations, presentations, or everyday conversations, expressing your ideas well has a significant impact on your personal and professional life.
  • Helps Personal Growth: Good communication skills require self-awareness and continuous improvement that leads to greater self-confidence and personal development.
  • Develop a Positive Reputation: Being known as a good communicator enhances your reputation and makes you a sought-after individual in your personal and professional circles.
  • Shows Good Leadership: Skilled communicators inspire, motivate, and foster teamwork. They convey a vision clearly and provide guidance that leads to more successful outcomes. They gain more collaboration and cooperation when helping identify issues, brainstorming solutions, and collaboratively solving problems. 

Strong communication skills are highly valued in the workplace which leads to career growth. They also help you contribute positively to society and are valuable in your personal relationships. Conveying your thoughts and ideas concisely and persuasively helps you deliver engaging and impactful presentations. It also helps you become a better negotiator who understands the other party’s perspective while expressing your needs to gain mutually beneficial agreements. It helps you understand better and be understood better.

How to Become a Good Communicator

There are several traits that help you convey information clearly and effectively. Some are part of the personal disciplines stated in prior posts about learning to Manage Yourself Well and Behavior Management. Each requires practice and discipline to become a great communicator

  • Listen Well. Practice active listening by paying close attention to what others are saying without interrupting. Listen for the “period” by waiting for them to stop their statement before you respond.
  • Speak and Write Clear and Concise: Get to the point and avoid unnecessary complexity. Express your thoughts and ideas clearly and succinctly. Deliver your message in a straightforward manner to ensure your audience grasps the key points. Use simple language and avoid jargon or overly complex terms, especially when communicating with diverse audiences. Don’t over-explain.
  • Be Confident and Assertive: Project confidence in your communication, but avoid coming across as arrogant. Believing in what you’re saying can inspire trust in your audience. Assert yourself with proper composure and demeanor using good eye contact, presence, and a strong tone of voice that is not overly aggressive. 
  • Show Empathy: Put yourself in others’ shoes to understand their emotions and viewpoints. Empathy allows you to respond with sensitivity and respect, promoting better understanding. 
  • Listen Well. Show genuine interest in their words and ask clarifying questions to ensure you understand their perspective. Use open-ended questions to encourage conversation and elicit more detailed responses. 
  • Only Speak Well of Others: Avoid being overly critical of others in public. Remember the old adage: Critique only in person; compliment in public. If you only look for the negatives, people will tend to avoid you.  
  • Read Nonverbal Cues: Pay attention to the nonverbal cues others provide. This can include facial expressions, gestures, and body language, which can convey emotions and communicate messages. Maintain eye contact, use open body language, and be aware of your tone of voice.
  • Listen Well. Listen to the other person more than you talk. That seems pretty basic but not many of us do it well enough!
  • Be Adaptable: Tailor your communication style to match the preferences and needs of your audience. Adjust your approach when speaking to different people or in various contexts.
  • Remember, It’s Not About You! Don’t make conversations all about you and your accomplishments. No one likes a braggart. Demonstrate your interest in the other person’s thoughts by learning more about them than what you tell about yourself. 
  • Listen Well. Be patient and allow others to express themselves fully before you respond. It also keeps you from interrupting or rushing conversations.
  • Tell Stories: Use stories and anecdotes to illustrate your points and make your communication more relatable and engaging. But don’t make things up or lie! 
  • Communicate Respectfully: Treat others with respect and courtesy, regardless of differing opinions. Foster an environment where diverse viewpoints can be shared without fear of judgment.
  • Have Cultural Sensitivity: Be aware of cultural differences in communication styles and norms. Respect and adapt to these differences when communicating with individuals from diverse backgrounds. There is nothing wrong with saying you didn’t understand and asking for clarification. 
  • Practice and Seek Feedback: Continuously work on improving your communication skills. Be open to receiving feedback from others and practice in various contexts to refine your abilities. Constructive criticism helps you improve your communication skills and adapt as needed.
  • Ask & You May Receive: One of my favorite sayings is “You can’t get what you don’t ask for!” Ask for a discount whenever you buy anything. Start at a higher (but reasonable) selling price when you sell something so you can come down in price and not leave money on the table. Ask for a favor but also generously return and grant favors.
  • Listen Well. Listen Well. Listen Well.

Notice the pattern?

Listening well may be the most important trait of all. Becoming a good communicator is an ongoing process that involves self-awareness, a willingness to learn, and the ability to adapt to different situations and audiences. But mastering this skill will improve all your interactions, lead to better career opportunities, and strengthen your relationships.

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GodBuddy Focus

Communicating well as a godly man also involves integrating your faith and values into all of your interactions. It helps you show respect and be respected as a man of high character and morality.

First and foremost, godly men listen well. They demonstrate understanding, empathy, and respect for those who suffer or struggle. Their active listening skills help everyone feel valued. Their kindness and love are evident in all of their ways of communication. They are gentle and patient and avoid harsh or hurtful language.

Godly men also provide words of encouragement and affirmation that lift others up and inspire them. They are humble and don’t pretend to have all the answers. They are sought out as role models since their actions align with their words.

Godly men practice the biblical principle of “speaking the truth in love.” They avoid judgment and recognize their own sinful behaviors. They hold others accountable for their bad behavior and request to be held accountable themselves.

Godly men focus on shared values and common beliefs when discussing differences of opinion. They work hard to find common ground that bridges gaps and promotes unity. When disagreements do arise, their maturity leads to forgiveness and a willingness to reconcile. They promote peace and strive to be a peacemaker by avoiding unnecessary conflicts and prioritizing mutually beneficial resolutions.

Godly men also communicate often with their Creator through prayer and by seeking His guidance before engaging in important conversations. They express gratitude for all their blessings and for all the people in their lives. Prayer and gratitude are daily habits.  

Ultimately, communicating well means reflecting the love, compassion, and wisdom of Jesus Christ in all of your interactions. Men who embody these principles enrich everyone in their circle of influence. This contributes to a more harmonious and spiritually enriching environment for all.

For discussion:

  • How well did your parents communicate with each other? With others?
  • Which of the practices of being a good communicator are easiest for you? Which are the hardest? 
  • What can you do to improve your weakest area of communication? 

[Feature Image Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash]

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