Healthy thinking: Ways to improve communication

In all your relationships, whether personal or professional, you're bound to deal with conflict or misunderstandings.  Poor communication can result in frustration, hurt feelings and confusion.  To learn ways to improve your communication skills, you must consider your goal, or the point you want to make.  Use good communication skills to improve your relationships while ensuring the person you're speaking with is on the same page.  Identify communication methods: Not everyone in your life is going to share the same methods and preferences when it comes to communicating.  Before you schedule time or try to side down and talk , identify how the other person will best respond to you.  While one person might feel better communicating via the written word, another individual may prefer in person.  Take turns: While you likely have plenty you want to say, always give the other person a fair chance to share his problems, fears and issues with you before you begin.  Listen actively, without rebuttal, even if he uses accusations or anger in order to relay his message.  While it may be tempting to immediately say your piece it is recommended reserving judgement until the other person has finished speaking.  This strategy should help you communicate more effectively.  Respond instead of react: While everyone has "hot button" issues that can upset them, it's important to take time to process information before you respond to the other party.  Even if you are personally attacked, if you feel yourself getting upset or irate, tell the other person you need a moment to collect your thoughts and step away.  Using self-discipline to rein in your own feelings, and to not make the problem worse by reacting badly to what the other person is saying.  Take time to think their words over, and respond in a calm and thoughtful manner.  Brainstorm: Conflict management strategies suggest not everyone can win every time.  However, as you communicate with others - whether it's your spouse or your business partner - find ways to satisfy both parties sufficiently so there is no clear loser.  Take time to brainstorm possible solutions and communicate how each solution might affect you both.  Take a rational and adult approach to communication so you both walk away feeling respected and understood. (Source: Livestrong.com)