Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Communication Skills

Communication skills are intrinsic to our wellness. They are central to our relationships and our effectiveness in life. I have distilled a list of six main steps in healthy communication. I discovered I have lots of room for improvement. Hopefully you will find something helpful too. 

1. Attitude adjust.

  • Consider your purpose in the conversation. 
  • Assume the best intentions in everyone. 
  • Stay positive - honest, patient, optimistic,  sincere. 
  • Value everyone equally. 

2. Check physical factors.

  • Put away distractions like phones. 
  • Make comfortable eye contact.
  • Watch your body language.  
  • Watch your tone. 

3. Listen actively.

  • Listen first.
  • Ask open ended questions.
  • Set aside judgement while listening. 
  • Listen actively -  Don’t interrupt; read back, aka clarify and reflect. 

4. Guide your reaction. 

  • Use empathy; Try to see the other person’s point of view.
  • Practice self awareness -recognize emotions and stresses as they arise and rather than react to them, handle them appropriately. 

5. Say your piece. 

  • Pause and ponder. Think before making a point.
  • Understand how your message might be received.
  • Tailor your message to your listener.
  • Use empathetic assertiveness. 
  • State needs, express feelings; Value your own point of view as well. 
  • Be direct; Be BRIEF - Give the "b"ackround, "r"eason,"i"nformation, "e"nd, and "f"ollow-up.

6. Connect and conclude. 

  • Connect personally.
  • Encourage the other.
  • Focus on the result.
  • Ask for input and feedback. 
  • Follow up with a plan. Close the loop. 
  • Show appreciation for the person and the conversation.  


Awesome references that expand on these tips: