50 Tips on Excellent
Communication for Life
Counseling for Solutions, LLC
150 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
We listen at 125-250 wpm, think at 1000-3000 wpm
75% of the time we are distracted, preoccupied or forgetful
20% of the time, we remember what we hear
More than 35% of businesses think listening is a top skill for success
Less than 2% of people have had formal education with listening
250 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
•What is the difference between hearing and listening?
Hearing is simply the act of perceiving sound by the ear. If you are not hearing-
impaired, hearing simply happens.
Listening, however, is something you consciously choose to do. Listening
requires concentration so that your brain processes meaning from words and
sentences. Listening leads to learning
350 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Bias or prejudice
Language differences or accents
Worry or Fear, or anger, and
Lack of attention span
450 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
• Making up your mind in advance that the subject is uninteresting or unimportant
• Focusing on a speaker’s looks and delivery instead of on what he/she is saying
• Paying only partial attention to what someone is saying because you are busy
thinking about what you are going to say next.
550 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
• We decide on what we FOCUS on, or
• What we give our ATTENTION.
• We place our own PERSONAL meaning on what a person is saying.
650 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
• Criticizing the subject or the speaker
• Getting over-stimulated
• Listening only for facts
• Not taking notes OR outlining everything
• Tolerating or creating distraction
• Letting emotional words block message
• Wasting time difference between speed
of speech and speed of thought
750 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Active listening is a structured form of
listening and responding that focuses the
attention on the speaker.
850 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
The listener must take care to attend to the
speaker fully, and then repeats, in the
listener’s own words, what he or she thinks
the speaker has said.
950 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
The listener does not have to agree with
the speaker--he or she must simply state
what they think the speaker said. This
enables the speaker to find out whether the
listener really understood. If the listener did
not, the speaker can explain some more.
1050 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
• Eye Contact
• Verbal Responses
• Asking Relevant Questions
• Gestures, nods
• Future actions
• Feelings of being
valued, heard, cared for.
1150 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Check for Understanding
Check for Accuracy
1250 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
1350 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
To Feelings As Well As Words
• Words – Emotions -- Implications
Focus on Speaker
• Don’t plan, speak, or get distracted
What Is Speaker Talking About?
• Topic? Speaker? Listener? Others?
Look At Speaker
• Use Verbal & Non-Verbal Encouragers
1450 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
1. Demonstrates you are listening
2. Gather information
• Tell me more?
• How did you feel?
• Then what happened?
1550 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Reflect What Is Said
(In your words)
• Capture the essence of the communication
• Remove negative framing
• Move toward problem solving
1650 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
• Get Speaker’s Consent to Your Reframing
• Speaker Has Been Heard and Knows It!
• Solution Is Near!
1750 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
21. Know when to Practice
This is listening to words, intonation, and
observing body language and facial
expressions, and giving feedback. But active
listening doesn’t involve two-way emotional
involvement, or empathy.
1850 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Know when to Practice
There are three important things for the
listener to remember during active listening is:
Answer – Questions
Acknowledge – Statements
Resolve – Objections
1950 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Active Listening: Getting Prepared
1. Take responsibility for understanding the speaker; Make sure he explains
his thoughts well by probing sufficient explanation.
2. Try to eliminate any physical distractions or noise by moving to a quiet
3. Mentally review what you already know about the subject.
4. Try to find an area of interest.
2050 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Active Listening: During Interaction
4. Take notes.
5. Ask questions at timely intervals to confirm what
is being said.
6. Look for non-verbal cues which may reinforce or
contradict the vocal message.
2150 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Active Listening: Recap
This is also called the “Play-back Technique”; which
means after you listen to a message (especially a
complicated one) you need to summarize what you
just heard to make sure you got it all.
Recapping is also crucial in receiving data such as
phone numbers, names or addresses.
2250 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we
exchange these apples then you and I will still
each have one apple. But if you have one idea
and I have an idea and we exchange these
ideas, then each of us has two ideas.”
George Bernard Shaw
2350 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
22. Know when to Practice
Here, you are listening with full attention to the
sounds, and all other relevant signals, including:
tone of voice, other verbal aspects -
e.g., pace, volume, breathlessness, flow, style, em
facial expression and body language.
2450 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Know when to Practice Effective
You should be able to see and feel the speaker’s situation. Also you should
react and give feedback to check that you understand the speaker. You need to
summarize and probably take notes if it's an important discussion. You need to
be honest in expressing disagreement but at the same time express genuine
understanding; aiming to keep emotions civilized and under control even for
2550 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Effective Listening: Pause and Reflect
Many people do not give themselves adequate
pauses for thinking when listening and responding.
Adopting this attitude has a strong additional
element of being interested in helping the other
person see and understand their options and choices.
2650 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
23. Know when to Switch to
It is an attitude of mind that goes beyond even
empathic listening because it implies and requires that
you are able to extend an exceptionally helpful
approach to the other person. In this respect you are
acting rather like a protector or guardian, in the event
that the other person is not being true to themselves.
2750 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
24. Dig Down
Go beyond current surface needs to identify each person’s primary needs.
Use this skill to understand significant internal, interpersonal conflicts and
Avoid clashing with people’s core beliefs or values.
Awareness is one of the outcomes of digging down, this is used as an
important techniques in meta-talk, assertion, and problem-solving skills.
2850 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
25. Use your Logical Thinking
Be aware of problems, make reactive or proactive
instructions, requests, recommendations, advice, ask
questions, understand the situation, collaborate, display
ideas, generate alternatives, and make decisions;
instead of relying on personal preferences and opinions.
2950 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Use your Logical Thinking
Focus on the current situation (vs. past or future), intentionally build and
use a vocabulary to describe your perceptions, feelings and needs
Avoid vague and ambivalent terms like those people, stuff, this whole
thing, deal with, soon, etc.
Avoid "hand-grenade" (emotionally provocative) terms like
stupid, weak, dumb, childish, wimp, fag, bully, selfish, liar, loser, failure, path
etic, brainless, etc.
3050 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
3150 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
26. Seek Accuracy
Pin your plans or the other person’s plans to a
clearly marked time/time range.
Make reminders highlighting specific
requirements on specific deadlines.
3250 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
27. Choose the Right Words
The most common cause of misunderstanding
arises from missing that the same word -used
by two people arguing about a concept- could
have a different meaning to each of them.
Minimizing abstraction and double meanings
foster clarity of communication.
3350 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Choose the Right Words
Using simple, direct words also helps in
transmitting a concise and clear message.
Using words which have constructive and
positive indications motivate the receiver to listen
3450 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
“Someone has said that all living is just
learning the meaning of words. That does not
mean the long ten syllable words we have to
look up in the dictionary. The really great
words to master are short ones—work, love,
hope, joy, pain, home, child, life, death.”
Halford E. Luccock
Prominent American Methodist
3550 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
I-statements help you express the way you feel
and what you want with great clarity.
3650 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Sometimes people use "you" statements, such as "You never
call when you are going to be late." This type of statement
can make others feel angry and defensive immediately.
3750 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
. When you use I-statements, such as, "I really need to know when
you're going to be here so I can make plans," you express your the
concern in terms of you.
3850 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
3950 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
• DESCRIBE - Describe the undesirable behavior
that the person is displaying.
• Be very specific.
4050 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
EXPRESS - Express how this behavior
makes you feel. Use your feeling words
and “own” your emotions.
4150 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
SPECIFY – Name an alternative
behavior – Tell how things need to
4250 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
CONSEQUENCES - Tell how things will change
if the person changes their behavior. The
consequences can be positive or negative. Always
try positive consequences first.
4350 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
28. Say “No” without Hurting Others
• Don't be defensive in giving your answer. It's
possible to respond in a way that turns the
exchange into a discussion rather than an
4550 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Say “No” without Offending Others
• Be aware of the tone in your voice. Remain calm and talk to the person as
if you were having a conversation about the weather.
• Compliment the offer or request and then clearly state your "no." For
example, if your friend asks you to help her handcraft her wedding
invitations, you could say, "I'm flattered you think I'm creative enough to
pull off such an important job, but I'm not going to be able to help out."
4650 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Say “No” without Hurting Others
• Don't make up false excuses. Trying to create a
complicated story on the spot will make the other
person angry and may eventually lead to you
caving in and saying "yes“. If the person presses
for a reason, simply tell her you have another
commitment and leave it at that.
4750 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
29. Balance the Right Tone of Voice
Audible signals (apart from the words themselves)
also give lots of clues about feelings, mood, motive
The way the voice is used is a very significant (usually
unconscious) aspect of communication, aside from
the bare words themselves.
4850 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Balance the Right Tone of Voice
Avoid using a “mono-tone” (using the same tone of voice while trying to
communicate different words and meanings) unless you want your listener
to drift off and get confused and bored.
Mono tone is used only in case dialogues where there is no need to trigger
feelings or the attention of your listener, e.g. Reading a list of applicant
4950 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
30. Use Inflection
This is a modulation of the voice by intentionally
changing the pitch or tone of voice between high
and low to convey a certain mood, tension, aspect,
Nerves often cause your voice to go up a few
Raise your tone as you ask a symbolic question.
5050 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
31. Adjust your Voice’s Volume
A loud voice makes you sound more authoritative while
if you speak too softly you may strain your listeners or
imply a wrong message. So project your voice without
shouting; there is no excuse for not being heard well.
You need to lower your volume for emphasis while its
advised to raise your volume when calling for action.
5150 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
32. Adjust Your Voice’s Pace
Generally, try to slow down while you are
talking, especially when addressing a group or
someone you are speaking to for the first time.
Speed up when reviewing information, that
you know, is familiar to your listener.
Be attentive to the speaking-speed of your
communication partner and try to match up.
5250 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
“Have you ever noticed? Anybody going
slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going
faster than you is a maniac”
American Stand-up Comedian
5350 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
33. Speak Clearly
Do not speak with your teeth together.
Stress on the vowels.
Try to pronounce every letter because you
can’t compromise on being understood.
5450 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
34. Pause in the Right Time
People pause to get the time to think about what to say or to understand
what is just being said to them.
In essence pauses are also recommended; before starting a new point to
indicate a change of subject. Also before and after asking a question, before
saying thank you, and in the middle of talking to get feedback if you are
5550 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Pause in the Right Time
• Pause when you need to asses your thoughts instead
of muttering speech fillers such as “umm’s” and “err’s”.
• Don’t pause for a long time; this may reflect that you
wish to end the discussion.
• Don’t pause in the middle of a sentence as this could
imply that your mind is busy with something else.
5650 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
35. Understand Silent Messages
Research has proven that vocal and visual
communication outweigh verbal messages
there is a conflicted message. What does this
mean? If what we say doesn’t match how we
say it, people might not get it because what
people see and hear from us does impact the
communication experience more.
5850 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Understand Silent Messages
Video yourself and watch it back. Record a voice
memo of yourself on your phone. Then, consider
how you come across both vocally and visually. Is
there anything blocking your message from your
listeners? What adjustments in your behavior will
help the message come more clearly through?
5950 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
36. Resolve Long Term Grudges
Grudges are painful. You might jeopardize an
important relationship by suppressing negative
feelings and not allowing them to surface. So
try the following steps to help you resolve the
root cause of undesired grudges:
6150 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Resolve Long Term Grudges
Reverse-engineer the situations where you didn’t like your reaction and
imagine yourself owning up and reacting in a different manner that
expressed your feelings instead of suppressing them.
Confront your counterpart, either face to face or indirectly (by written
communication), but think about what you want before you even start
6250 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Resolve Long Term Grudges
Listen well and think well about it.
If the heat stirs, allow your counterpart to
retreat with dignity, giving him/her room to
rethink and come back when they are in a
better frame of mind.
6350 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
37. Confront with Safety
Start with safety using a reconciliatory body
language, wording and voice tone.
Describe in a clear and simple way the gap between
an action that occurred and your expectations.
End with a question and try to get feedback while
sustaining a good reaction from your side.
6450 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
38. Choose What and If
WHAT: when the problem comes up, talk about
the original problem or content. Cut to the
heart of the matter by asking what you really
do and don’t want for yourself, the other
person and the relationship.
6550 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Choose What and If
IF: whenever you remain silent in the wrong time, ask
yourself these questions:
1. Am I acting it out?
2. Is my conscience nagging me?
3. Am I choosing the certainty of silence over the risk of
6650 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
39. Write Letters & Notes
Whether it be through electronic channels or
classical hard-copy letters: writing a note or
letter to your counterpart would be a good idea
to break the ice before a confrontation .
This is what you need to write in a precise and
6750 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Write Letters & Notes
1. What the other person did/does that you
2. How that makes you feel.
3. Your fears about how this would affect your
6850 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life
Write Letters & Notes
4. Your apology for any mis-comings that may
have come from your side too.
5. What you miss and how you wish your
6. Ask for some time to meet (Optional).
6950 Tips on Excellent Communication for Life