When you can be more mindful of the language you use, you will improve the way you communicate with others.
Communication with others involves using words, writings and gestures. The language you use plays an important part in how effective you are with your communication.
Why You Should Be More Mindful of the Language You Use
Paying more attention to the language you use is important because:
- It will impact the interaction you’ll have with someone.
- It will affect the quality of your relationships.
- It will affect your self-confidence.
- It will influence people’s perception, which can affect your reputation.
- It will determine whether you achieve your outcomes or not.
When you learn to be more mindful of the language you use, communicating with others will become easier.
When I was in my twenties, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the language I used. My environments had an impact on how I spoke and the language I used.
When I started my career in manufacturing and worked in an office environment, it was challenging fitting in. My perception was everyone always spoke very well and knew how to get their point of view across to others.
Since I had not learned effective communication skills, I had to learn on the job. The relationship between communication and confidence really hit home for me.
My belief was I did not communicate as well as others around me, which affected my confidence. As a result, during meetings, I rarely spoke or shared anything. I know that caused me to miss out on different opportunities.
When I focused on developing myself and improving how I communicated, things started to change. I transitioned to a new career that relies on communicating well.
Learning to be a trainer, speaker and coach meant I had to be mindful of the language I use. Having focused on improving my communication skills, it has shown up in how I speak and the language I use.
5 Things You Can Do to Be More Mindful of the Language You Use
Here are five things you can do to be more mindful of the language you use. These things will require focus and commitment for you to reap the benefits.
- Develop a higher level of presence. Presence is your ability to experience any moment, without thinking about the past or the future. When you are more present, you’ll be more conscious of the words you use.
- Add a pause before speaking. Most people do not listen attentively. Instead, they’re thinking about what they will say next. When you improve your listening skills and pause before speaking, you don’t have to worry about what to say. A brief pause will allow you to slow down and think before speaking.
- Improve your non-verbal communication. Your non-verbal communication has an effect on your verbal communication. Improving your body language is one way you can improve your non-verbal communication.
- Develop your vocabulary. Most people stop learning when they finish their formal education, which means they don’t improve their vocabulary. You can improve your vocabulary through reading and learning a new word a day.
- Practice asking clarifying questions. A habit that will help you be more mindful of the language you use is to listen for understanding. That means you have to focus on the other person and see things from their perspective. Asking clarifying questions will remove confusion or misunderstanding, which will lead to a better outcome for all involved.
When you can be more mindful of the language you use, you will improve the way you communicate. Before you speak, if you practice asking yourself, “Will my words help, harm or hurt this person?,” you will use the right words.
If you are not mindful of the language you use, it can hurt your relationships. It can also cause you to feel guilt or regret if you believe you could have said something better. It’s important to pay attention to the language you use.
Action Step: During your next conversation, use the ideas suggested here. A good starting point is to pause before responding. Stay present and listen for understanding. These suggestions will help create a better conversation.
Question: What are more ways to be more mindful of the language you use?