Becoming a clear communicator means effectively conveying your thoughts, ideas, needs and wants. Communicating clearly helps you manage your time and your life, to feel good about yourself, and to build trustworthy relationships with others.
Know what you want to say
- Ask yourself what it is you want: Gaining a full understanding of what you want to say will help you deliver your message.
- Practice what you are going to say in advance: Say it out loud to yourself or someone else. Don’t be afraid to change your message in the process.
- Stay focused: Don’t bring up things that happened in the past.
- Show that you are listening: Make eye contact; don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask the other person to repeat what he or she has said.
- Be polite: Don’t interrupt; take turns talking.
- Be respectful: Respect what the other person is feeling and/or thinking.
- Keep an open mind: Don’t be afraid to change your mind about what you first thought when you started the conversation
Say what you mean
- Be direct and give examples: Help the other person understand what you’re trying to say.
- Be Honest: Show how you really feel.
- Use “I” statements: Talking in “I” statements helps you clearly explain what you need and how your feel, without placing blame on the other person. Example: “ I feel frustrated when you’re late. I want you to be on time.”
- Pay attention to you body language: The way you move your body and hands speak just as much as what you say.
- Don’t be afraid to say that you are sorry if you say something that is hurtful or wrong.
Make sure you understand
- What do you both want: Ask the other person what he or she needs, and be clear about your needs.
- If you don’t understand, ask: Don’t be afraid to ask the other person how he or she is thinking and feeling. Don’t try to guess on your own.
- Repeat what the other person says: A great way to make sure that you understand someone is to repeat what the person has just said, in your own words, e.g., “What I hear you saying is...”
Action and closure
- Before the conversation ends, make sure you both understand what the other has said.
- Summarize: Restate what each of you has said, to make sure that there are no misunderstandings.
- What will happen next: Make an agreement about what will happen next as a result of your conversation.
- Closure: You may not both agree with one another, but make sure you are both satisfied with the conversation. Don’t be afraid to start the conversation again, at a later time, if necessary.
- If you want to talk to someone about enhancing your communication skills, you can make an appointment with a Wellness Educator/Counselor
Learn how you can become more assertive and less aggressive.
Resources at UNH
Learning how to become a clear communicator takes a lot of practice and time. The following resources are available to students at UNH:
- Health Counseling and Education
Make an individual appointment with a Wellness Educator/Counselor at Health & Wellness by calling (603) 862-3823 or online. This service is available to UNH students who have paid the health fee.
- Fierce and Fabulous Women's Group
Gaining self-awareness and empowerment is essential to feeling comfortable speaking up for yourself. Health & Wellness currently offers a women's empowerment group for UNH students – Being Fierce and Fabulous.
- Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP)
SHARPP is dedicated to providing supportive services to survivors of sexual assault, relationship abuse and stalking and their allies, as well as providing education and outreach to the greater University community.
- Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS)
Psychological and Counseling Services (PACS) is the primary mental health facility on campus. They offer counseling and therapy for students who have paid the health fee.