How to Communicate Effectively

Do you find it hard to express your wants and opinions? Do you tend to do what others want regardless of your desires? If your answer is yes, read on to learn effective communication tips. Hopefully, these tips can improve your effective communication skills to learn to respectfully say no and share your thoughts.

What is effective communication?

There are two actions you can do to communicate effectively:

  • Listen: The ability to listen to the ideas and feelings of another person without becoming defensive or taking it as a personal attack is a big part of effective communication.
  • Speak: It also includes the ability to express positive and negative ideas and feelings openly and honestly.

So, how do you listen and speak to communicate effectively? See the tips below to learn how.

Tips for expressing your wants honestly and respectfully

  1. Listen to understand

Good listening means understanding and empathizing with the person you are talking to. You put yourself in their perspective and try to feel their feelings. Asking this question to yourself may help you understand the other person better: “If I am in this specific situation, how will I feel?”


  1. Use “I” messages

Try to use “I” statements to communicate effectively when conveying your thoughts and feelings.

Say this: “I feel exhausted and I would like some time to myself,”

Instead of saying this: “You always want me to do things for you, and I am tired.”

You can make the conversation healthy and positive by using “I” messages because “I” messages can avoid blame and shame.

  1. Be aware of your body language and tone

Sometimes our body language does not reflect what we are saying. Imagine saying, “I am here for you,” but your arms are crossed. The person you are conversing with might take that in the wrong way. Try opening your arms and saying, “I am here if you need me.”

You can learn more about how to express your thoughts and feelings by downloading this 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively tip sheet.

Effective Communication Skills Class

If you want to learn practical ways to be an effective communicator, consider attending our Effective Communication Skills class.

You will be surrounded by people who have the same goals like being heard, making your own choices, and respectfully saying “no.”

The next class will happen on September 9.

Register for our Effective Communication Skills class here.


Additional resources:

Tip sheet: 5 Ways to Communicate Effectively

6 Steps for Better Communications with Your Partner

Self-improvement workshops