“Talk to me!” “You’re not listening!” “Communication is key!” “ I am NOT a mind reader!”– How many times have you heard these comments or made them to someone at work, home and/or school? We all deal with people daily that we feel like making these comments to. We may think these thoughts, or we voice them out loud. Communication comes in different forms and people have different communication skills. We must learn how to effectively present what we are trying to communicate and overcome barriers and pre-conceived notions. If you already have an idea of how a conversation is going to go before you have the conversation, you set yourself up for disappointment or failure. In most cases, once you have the discussion, it doesn’t turn out the way you expected. You need to keep an open mind and open ear to listen. Being attentive is also vital to communication. Your settings make a difference. A face to face conversation, with no distractions in a quiet place, can play a factor in effective communication. Emails and phones are everyday common communication means. But, with something important that needs to be communicated, these can create a physical barrier. Sometimes they are not the best way of communicating what needs to be said. Direct contact may be the best action to take! In face to face discussions, you should pay attention to your body language, tone of voice, and engagement which are each components of your communication skills. Would you want to talk to someone that is slumping in their chair, watching a video on their computer and phones ringing when you have an urgent matter? I know I wouldn’t! I would want someone that was going to listen with their full attention to my issue. If you find yourself dealing with communication barriers and want to recognize and overcome them, EAN can help. You can schedule a face to face appointment with one of our counselors. Just contact our office at 828-252-5725 or 800-454-1477.