11 Tips for Effective Meetings & Empathy-based Conversations

empathy driven meetings
image credit: HMI

Verbal & written communication is vital in how we perceive & communicate thoughts. In-person or video meetings are a great way to add that touch of personalization to your communication.

Here are 11 ways you could improve communication skills at work or when dealing with friends & family:

  1. Create a conducive environment: Make sure you're not in a place where you're likely to get distracted by a crying baby, a barking dog, or a parrot that keeps repeating everything you say.
  2. Be present: Stay focused on your thoughts and don't daydream during the conversation. Unless, of course, you're dreaming about a way to make the conversation more interesting!
  3. Show empathy: Put yourself in the other person's shoes, and think about how you would feel if someone else was listening to you. Unless you have really smelly feet, in which case, put yourself in their sandals instead.
  4. Practice active listening: Listen carefully to what the other person is saying, and avoid thinking about what you will have for dinner. If they're talking about food, then take notes!
  5. Avoid interrupting: Interrupting is like jumping into a conversation without checking to see if the water is deep enough. You might make a splash, but you could also hit your head on a rock.
  6. Use nonverbal cues: Nod your head, smile, and maintain eye contact. If you're on a video call, try not to look like you're staring into the abyss.
  7. Be respectful: Speak to the other person respectfully, even if you secretly think they're wearing a hideous shirt. If you're both wearing ugly shirts, then go ahead and bond over your fashion faux pas.
  8. Practice reflective listening: Repeat what the other person is saying, and add your own spin.
  9. Avoid making assumptions: Don't assume you know everything about the other person. If you're psychic, skip this step and tell them what they're thinking.
  10. Give feedback: Share your perspective, but avoid being too blunt or harsh. If you think they need a wake-up call, grab a bullhorn and let them have it!
  11. I'd like to follow up: After the conversation, please send the other person a message or email to let them know you enjoyed the conversation.