most of our communication is nonverbal, also known as body language. A vital form of communication, body language includes facial expressions, eye contact, posture, gestures and tone of voice, by both the speaker and the listener. Helpguide teaches that learning body language communication skills can create trust by matching body language to words, responding with cues showing understanding and care, as well as assisting in the reading of the body language of others. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension indicates that body language that supports effective communication includes focusing your eyes on the other person, maintaining an open body stance and sitting on the edge of your chair. To review and find room for improvement of your body language communication skills, Helpguide suggests videotaping a conversation you have with another person, having someone take digital photos during your conversation with someone else or making an audio recording of a conversation you have. When you review the visual or audio mediums, find areas that may need work, such as studying your stance, watching your eye contact and whether your body is turned toward the other person to indicate interest.
Active Listening * According to the University of Colorado, active listening is a skill that improves understanding through effectively listening and responding to another person. In a conflict, the listener can be busy formulating a response before the speaker is finished speaking. This behavior can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and a breakdown of communication. One aspect of effective active listening skills involves listening carefully to what the speaker says, then the listener repeating back what the speaker just said, using the speaker’s words, as indicated by the University of Colorado. This helps the speaker interpret whether the listener understood and, if not, the speaker can explain further.
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