Communication Tips To Enhance A Relationship

The way we communicate is key to the strength of our relationships. When we’re stressed or short of time our communication tends to become terse and cursory, which is translated by the person we’re talking to as a lack of interest in the subject, or worse, in them. This can be deeply damaging to any relationship: a loved one will be made to feel unloved; an employee will be made to feel undervalued.

Constructive communication requires time and effort. That might sound like a chore. Why should you have to put effort into something as simple as a conversation? The simple answer is that whatever you put in you will get out. Put in impatience and lack of interest and that is what you will get in return, triggering a vicious circle that can become highly destructive. Put in care and attention and your efforts will be reciprocated, the conversation will flow more easily and it won’t feel like an effort at all.

By following these four practical tips, you can ensure that all your conversations have a positive effect.

1. Schedule time for each other

Ring-fence time in your diary to devote to one another, eg a regular date night. It’s essential to set time aside in this way to make sure it happens. Agree a date and time for getting together and make sure this is a joint decision. If one or other of you dictates, there will not be equal buy-in and your communication will flounder.

Committing your time to communicating has a number of positive effects on a relationship. It makes the other person feel valued and creates the space for proper conversation, in which both parties get the chance to air their views and concerns, share triumphs, resolve differences and develop a greater mutual understanding. It is conducive to a two-way dialogue, in which both sides feel empowered.

2. Share calendars

Calendar sharing has a very obvious practical benefit for work colleagues, helping to ensure appointments are kept, meetings booked at mutually convenient times etc. But it is every bit as valuable in domestic relationships.

The old-fashioned calendar on the fridge served a very useful purpose: it enabled everybody in the household to see what everybody else was doing. Today we tend to keep our own calendars on our mobile devices and unless we share them we lose that valuable transparency that the old-fashioned fridge calendar gave us.

Transparency breeds trust and strengthens the bond between us. When we tell one another what we’re up to we leave no room for speculation, which can be damaging. “Where is she this time?” “Why isn’t he home yet?”

In these fast-paced times, when it can feel hard to find the time for the good things in life, like going out together or visiting friends or family, a shared calendar gives you the facility to plan ahead. You can fix dates in advance, knowing that it’s free for all concerned. By the same token, it removes the frustration of planning an occasion, only to be told the day before that your partner has something else in the diary. “That’s the first I’ve heard of it!”

Remove the risk of nasty surprises. Sync your calendars using one of the many simple apps like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar.

3. Be servant minded

Communication quickly breaks down when both parties become preoccupied with their own concerns. When you’re wrapped up in your own thoughts it’s all too easy to become blasé to the needs of those around you, which quickly causes resentment. When both parties are treating each other in this way, the outcome is inevitably destructive.

Try to approach your communications selflessly. Step outside your own concerns and adopt an attitude of “How can I help you?” The effect will be very positive. Just as it’s deflating to think that you’re not being heard, when someone makes it clear that they want to hear your concerns it’s very uplifting. Adopting this attitude encourage openness, honesty and trust.

This applies in the workplace too. A boss who approaches his staff saying, “Do you need anything,” will get a much better response than one who merely gives orders. If you can remember to take this approach even when you’re tired and preoccupied, it will have an even more profound effect on your relationships.

4. Go out of your way to acknowledge, encourage and praise

We all tend to be good at offering praise for big achievements but acknowledging the little things can be just as good for a relationship, if not better. If someone makes you a cup of tea, holds a door open, carries something for you or any other small gesture that makes your life just that little bit easier, take the opportunity to show your appreciation.

When we receive thanks and praise it elevates us. Try not to underestimate this effect. People who feel good about themselves do good, whether it’s at work, at home or out in society. A show of appreciation breeds reciprocation. As a boss, take the opportunity to make tea for the team every so often. It will go a long way to earn you respect and loyalty.

When you elevate people they open up to you, which is conducive to positive communication. Win their trust, loyalty and affection and you will find it much easier to gain their cooperation and dedication when you need it.

Regular dialogue is vital for positive relationships. It is not just a way of sharing ideas and information, it is a way of sharing feelings and conveying unspoken bonds like trust, loyalty and respect.

Looking for Accountability and Direction?

Schedule a review today.

Tim Hatari

Tim Hatari helps businesses improve performance, creating strategic development plans and establishing structure via the 5PX Executive Business Coaching System. As CEO and Founder at TMD Coaching, he oversees the vision setting process with clients, leading on sales acquisition, the drive for operational excellence and market leading innovation. For Tim, helping others is the most rewarding part of the role. Follow or connect with Tim on Linkedin -

View All Articles

Topics from this blog: HR, People

Join Quest 1.0 (3)

Blog Read (Strategic Planning) v1

Blog Read (Credit Control) v1

Blog Read (Managing Inflation) image


Need a Strategic Plan to get you laser focused, or to enable your team or processes to operate more efficiently?

Quest (Poster)