Communication creates connection, and connection facilitates communication. Connection takes place only when you and the other person are communicating at the same level, mostly the thought and feeling level. For good, you need to be flexible enough to follow the other person if he or she switches level. To continue with, connection enables you to gain trust from others. In addition, it draws support to you and improves your problem-solving abilities. Besides, it promotes a free flow of creative ideas that is mutually beneficial. In view of the forgoing, how to improve your connection with others, stands crucial.
How To Improve Your Connection With Others Features
1. Know Your Communication Levels
To deepen your connection with others, you need to make productive use of the different levels of communication. You need to utilise them at the appropriate time. When you do so, you exchange similar kinds of information, hear what the other person is saying, understand it, and respond in a way that benefits you both. In consequence, you relate well and deepen the connection. For emphasis, being aware of the prevailing communication levels keeps you accordant to the ideas behind how to improve your connection with others.
Fact to note with, we tend to shift down to a lower level of communication, when the one we are in, becomes uncomfortable. To illustrate with, a rejection of your ideas may make you feel uncomfortable to continue communicating at the thoughts or ideas level. As a result, you may shy away from shifting to the feelings level. Most likely, you will shift down to the factual level. We have four basic levels of communication.
This first level accommodates simple pleasantries you exchange with someone in the cafeteria or corridor. “How are you?” “Good morning.” Although this level of communication serves to acknowledge the other person’s presence, it establishes the flimsiest of connection. Don’t shift out of this level if you are not ready to have a more meaningful exchange. This may be as a result of pressing preoccupations. For better, relay another time when you are opportuned to move beyond this level.
Factual Information Level
This level of communication covers the exchange of information of a factual nature. Communication at this level promotes problem-solving. For instance, exploring the facts of a case, and offering your thoughts and ideas, may help the other person to find a solution that will start him feeling better.
Thoughts And Ideas Level
A greater degree of vulnerability is associated with this level of communication, since we all have a certain investment in our thoughts and ideas, unlike straight facts. We fear the rejection of our thoughts and ideas. Insight to note with, when you present your thoughts and ideas as a different course to take or another option to look at, not the best and only course, you help the other person feel comfortable sharing thoughts and ideas, now and in the future. As well, you stimulate him or her, to consider more openly the other thoughts and ideas proposed, including contradictory ones. Of a truth, sharing thoughts and ideas deepens connection, and facilitates trust-building and problem-solving.
Communicating at the feelings level, features as the highest form of communication. It involves more risk, but it brings in more reward. A higher degree of vulnerability spotlights in communicating our feelings, because we fear possible repercussions. Truth to tell with, we become much more connected with others by sharing our feelings. As we share our feelings, we reveal an intimate part of ourselves, know ourselves better, and also allow others to know us better. As a result, we create a cordial atmosphere that starts us unburdening ourselves, providing mutual support, and solving our problems. The openness, trust, and honesty, established, fosters a deeper connection.
2. Identify The Communication Level You Are Each At, And Match Them
Tune in to all the behavioural clues and words to ascertain your level, and that of your interactant. For instance, the words, “I think this new approach is all wrong,” suggests the thoughts level. In contrast, when words are yelled, they suggest anger or frustration, which comes from the feelings level.
In conjunction with, identifying which level you are at, helps you to ascertain when you and the other person are at the same level. Forward with, when your level is in sync with that of your interactant, you arrest the likelihood of talking at cross-cross-purposes, operate from a common frame of reference, and promote mutual understanding. Consequently, both of you respond in a mutually beneficial manner and deepen the connection. For instance, if your interactant says, “I’m confused, and I don’t know where I fit in,” she is communicating at the feelings level. To match this level, you can say, “would you like to talk about it.” You will be out of sync, if you avoid the emotional subtext of her words, and fixate instead on how nice the weather is. In plainer terms, communicating in accord, forms part of how to improve your connection with others.
Adjunct to, presenting your thoughts or ideas, as another option to look at, not the best and only alternative, promotes harmony of communication, and connection at the thought level.
3. Shift To Different Level Of Communication For Deeper Connection
When you think the informational exchange would be better-served at a different level or the other person is at a different level, the time becomes ripe to shift levels. Shifting levels helps you to gain upon the idea of how to how to improve your connection with others. In plain, shifting levels operates through the following means.
Make Use Of Self-disclosure Statements
If your interactant is communicating at the factual Information level, and you sense that his real concern is the feelings of anxiety he is experiencing, make a self-disclosure statement. A self-disclosure statement like “John, I’m sensing that you are a bit anxious about this presentation,” helps to elicit a discussion of what he is feeling. For real, you have revealed to John that you sensed his anxiety. By doing so, you encourage John to talk about his feelings. As he proceeds along, you succeed in moving the communication to a feelings level. Following this, it becomes easier to share ideas for relieving the anxiety. In train, connection deepens.
Ask Vital Or Strategic Questions
Asking strategic questions helps you to move someone to a higher communication level, that facilitates a sharing of vital information, and deeper connection. For instance, you can ask a colleague, “how are you feeling about the upcoming performance appraisal?” When he tells you that he is nervous, you can then ask him if there is anything you can do to alleviate his anxiety. Together, both of you explore helpful ideas. As well, you can combine a self-disclosing statement with a strategic question. “I’m feeling kind of anxious about the upcoming performance appraisal. What about you, John?” By revealing to John that you are feeling the same thing that he is, you create a conducive and safe environment for him to disclose his feelings.
Find Out About The Other’s Thoughts And Feelings
You do this through the following statement: “John, I’d really like to hear how you are feeling about the upcoming performance appraisal.” If he says, “I think I will be okay.” You can reply by saying, “I’m actually asking about your feelings, not about your thoughts.” You can go on to add, “are you feeling anxious or confident?” Associated to, if you prefer your interactant to share his or her thoughts, you can use this statement. “I’m sure you have some ideas about the best way to handle the upcoming performance appraisal. John, I’d like to hear them.”
Find Out About The Other’s Thoughts And Feelings Concerning Expressing Thoughts And Feelings
When you encounter difficulty in shifting communication to a thought or feeling level, you can employ this statement. “It appears to me that it is difficult for you to share your feelings with me. Is there something I’m doing, that I’m not aware of? How do you feel about my asking you this?” John might feel safe responding to your last question. So, he says, “I feel a little uncomfortable.” You can follow up by asking, “In general, do you feel uncomfortable talking about your feelings?” He might answer, “No, I feel scared.” In actuality, you have stimulated John to shift to the feelings level, by disclosing to you how he feels about expressing his feelings. Once you are at the feelings level, endeavour to bring the discussion back to the relevant topic. “Do you feel scared about the upcoming performance appraisal?” Most likely, the communication will continue at the feelings level.
How to improve your connection with others, reveals ideas that stimulate you to use higher levels of communication. As you share ideas, thoughts, and feelings, you relate better, deepen the mutual connection, and solve problems better. Self-disclosure statements feature as a good way to reach higher levels of communication since they are usually responded to in kind.