6 Characteristics of a Good Communicator

Funny looking man and woman having troubled communication

We hear all the time how essential good communication is to healthy relationships. But what does good communication look like? How does one know if they are a good communicator? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. But seeing the results of one’s effort to communicate can be influenced by bias. You might think things are going well while an outsider looking in would disagree.

A good way to gauge your own ability to communication is to look at some key characteristics of a good communicator and honestly assess whether you possess them. Asking others their opinion also helps, as long as you are willing to hear the honest truth.

Below are six characteristics of a good communicator. They are offered by the licensed therapists at Relationships & More in Westchester County, New York. Relationships & More offers individual, adolescent, and couple’s and marriage counseling.

1. Communicating Without Distraction

The first characteristic of a good communicator is a willingness to communicate without distraction. Imagine sitting with a friend to have an important discussion. If your friend is a good communicator, they will turn off the cell phone. There will be no checking social media or text messages during your conversation. Your friend also will not be gazing out the window and commenting on the weather when they are supposed to be listening.

2. Actively Listening

Second only to communicating without distraction is actively listening. A good communicator doesn’t just hear the first few sentences and then start formulating a response without hearing the rest of what the other person has to say. A good communicator makes the effort to hear everything. They make the effort to listen until the other person is done before formulating a response.

3. Actively Avoiding Assumptions

Not actively listening tends to lead to making assumptions. In other words, we assume to know what the other person is going to say, thereby giving ourselves permission to stop listening so we can begin formulating a response. Know this: assumptions are dangerous. They can destroy any effort to communicate effectively. They should be avoided that all costs.

4. Accepting Other Points of View

Communication has a tendency to break down when those involved express different points of view. Why? Because of the natural inclination to prove one’s point. When you disagree with someone else’s point of view, don’t you sometimes feel compelled to try to change that person’s mind? And if not, perhaps you are still compelled to justify your own point of view.

Good communicators understand that other people have different opinions. They accept that. They do not feel the need to change anyone’s mind. They do not have a need to get the last word in, either.

5. Saying What They Mean

Communication is a two-way street. You listen, then you speak. A good communicator speaks clearly and concisely. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Unfortunately, a lot of people avoid communicating exactly what they are thinking and feeling. They use vague terminology or cliches in hopes that the other person will figure it out. Communicating so ambiguously rarely works out well.

6. Avoiding Personalization

The sixth characteristic of a good communicator is the ability to avoid personalizing things. Unless a discussion specifically calls for personal feelings, avoiding personalization makes it easier to avoid assumptions and hurt feelings.

Good communication comes easy to some people. Others have to learn it, just like any other skill. Either way, good communication skills make for good relationships. You can never go wrong by learning how to effectively communicate with other people.

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Categorized as Health

By Finn

Finn Oliver Edwards: Finn, a pediatric nurse, shares child health tips, parenting advice, and preventive measures for common childhood illnesses.