What exactly is communication? In short, communication is the act of transferring information and ideas from one place to another place. And if we plan to live the most meaningful, successful, and fulfilling life we can, then it makes sense to learn to communicate as effectively as possible—both with ourselves as well as with others.
Here’s what I’ve learned from studying this area for nearly a decade: Masters of life are masters of communication. You can’t have one without the other. That said, here are a few communication strategies you can begin to implement immediately to help you improve your life, achieve your goals, and grow yourself in the process:
1. Words backed with emotion.
If I took a little straight pin and tossed it at your chest, it would bounce right off and drop to the floor. But if I took that same straight pin, positioned it onto your chest, then hit the opposite end with a hammer, it would pierce right through to your heart.
Your words are like pins. Your emotions are like hammers. If you want to inspire yourself or anyone else in life, use words backed with emotion. It will change your life.
2. “I get to” vs “I have to”
How much of your day is spent doing things you have to do (as opposed to the things you get to do.) In my experience, the people who’ve built the most fulfilling + successful lifestyle for themselves are those that spend the majority of their time in the “I get to” zone … and this isn’t because they’ve gotten really good at delegating all of their “have to dos” (although it’s true to a certain extent) but because they’ve REDEFINED the way they perceive their lives.
They go from “I have to” to “I get to”
The idea here is to speak in a manner that puts the responsibility squarely on YOU. Put yourself in charge. Give yourself control. Of course, you don’t have to do this… But if you choose to do so, it’ll make a meaningful difference in your sense of wellbeing, self-confidence, self-control, and self-development.
3. Inject examples into your communication.
It’s been said that if someone can’t explain something with simplicity, then they don’t understand it themselves. I agree. And I would also add: if someone can’t say something with examples and simplicity, then they don’t understand it themselves.
For example, at FlashBooks, we’ve got specific guidelines for all of our writers with regard to how to write our book summaries. And although I’ve got an awesome team of writers, sometimes they forget to follow the guidelines. So what do I do? Do I tell them to shorten their sentences and decrease the grammatical errors? No. I give them specific examples of what they did wrong, and exactly how they can do it better. You can do the same thing. Pepper more examples into your conversations and communications and you’ll visibly notice the light bulbs turning on in the minds of your listeners.
4. Eloquence is no substitute for intention.
Some people speak really well but don’t say a lot. Maybe you’ve seen it—you watch someone speak with eloquence and elegance, but without conviction and intention. All filler; no killer. The delivery was polished, but did that communicate anything valuable?
When you communicate, communicate with intention. With your heart. When your intentions are in the right place, you can get away with a few stumbles and stammers because your audience—whether it’s an audience of 1 or 1,000—knows you’re not bullshitting them.
5. Communication is a skill.
Effective communication is a skill; it requires practice. And no—practice wont make perfect. There’s no such thing as perfect. Practice makes progress.
There are tons of ways to practice your communication. You can practice in your head. You can practice in your office. You can practice with other people.
Of course, you don’t need to practice your communication skills while you’re ordering your lunch at the drive-thru or anything. But you do need to practice
communicating when it counts. The bottom line is this: remember Mr. Miagi’s advice: wax on, wax off. Practice your communication skills regularly.
6. Communicate for precision, not for ego.
Some people cover up their lack of knowledge by injecting big words into their communications and conversations with other people. I hear people do this all the time. And you probably have too.
Whether you’re writing or speaking or conversing—simplicity is key. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use complicated language at all. My view is
this: focus on precision. If there’s only one word to describe what you need to describe, then use it. Even if the difference is subtle, be precise in all your
But remember: the goal in any communication is not to stroke your ego, but to take whatever it is that you’ve got in your head, and transfer it into the heads (and hearts) of whomever is listening to you.
About the author
Hi, I’m Dean Bokhari. I’m a speaker, writer, and entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, my main focus right now is fulfilling my role as founder of FlashBooks, one of the largest non-fiction book summary publications in the world.
As a speaker + writer, my main focus right now is my website, MeaningfulHQ, which is my play-ground for all things personal development. This is where I publish science-based articles and podcast episodes to help you live the most meaningful, fulfilling, and inspiring life you can live.
If you’re looking for a place to get started, here’s what I’d suggest:
If you’d like to get in touch with me about something, I’d love to hear from you, so just shoot me an email here.