Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, little or no progress towards achieving goals, ineffective teamwork and many more negative consequences. Many people believe they are good communicators but the reality is that we can all become complacent and succumb to bad habits.
Excellent communicators are self-aware and have a certain level of humility; they seek feedback and know how important it is to appreciate the other person's time, build a personal connection and practice 'active listening' - genuinely listening to the other person before deciding how to respond, not just waiting for their turn to speak!
You should also be on the look out for non verbal cues...as these often reveal what someone is feeling about what you are saying. Crossed arms? They may be feeling defensive. Wandering eyes? Perhaps they're bored.
When it comes to communication, we all tend to think we’re pretty good at it. Truth is, even those of us who are good communicators aren’t nearly as good as we think we are. This overestimation of our ability to communicate is magnified when interacting with people we know well. Researchers at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business put this theory to the test and what they discovered is startling. In the study, the researchers paired subjects with people they knew well and then again with people they’d never met. The researchers discovered that people who knew each other well understood each other no better than people who’d just met! Even worse, participants frequently overestimated their ability to communicate, and this was more pronounced with people they knew well.