So you want to make a positive change in your life. But what about the other people important to your life? You don’t live in a bubble. You can’t control what family and friends and coworkers do and say and yet they affect your ability to change what you wish.

Luckily, you do have the ability to influence them by how you communicate. In business this is referred to as the art of negotiation. But the same principles apply in your personal life.

Every person in your life has a certain sort of relationship with you. These relationships consist of give and take between needs and desires for both parties. Good communicators know how to speak and be heard; they use their observation skills to understand where the other person is coming from and communicate with them in a way that upholds their values. It’s not an easy art form to learn, but it is extremely important when you want to take control and bring about positive change.

What Do You Want to Communicate?

For communication to be most effective, if must be a two-way street. You want to convey what you’re thinking and feeling while listening to the response of the other party and hearing what they’re thinking and feeling. This type of communication is healthy; it builds your own confidence and self-esteem while showing honesty and respect to the other person. Effective communication clearly shows the other party what your core values are and vice versa.

Too often we just expect other people to know what’s important to us. The truth is, rarely are our friends and family members and coworkers psychic! If there’s something we want them to know and a certain way we want them to treat us, we have to tell them.

How Do You Want to Communicate?

The next step in effective communication is figuring out the best manner in which to communicate. For some people, talking is the natural way to convey feelings and emotions. For others, it’s the written word. Still others might feel more comfortable using a form of art or a combination of several things.

And sometimes it’s just not easy to communicate at all – but even if it doesn’t feel natural, effective communication techniques can be learned. Don’t forget that your body position, gestures, and facial expression do a lot of the talking without saying a word.

Communication Tips

Give yourself license to say what you really think and feel without being apologetic. By the same token, however, you must take responsibility for what happens when you communicate your opinions and needs. Don’t let a misunderstanding get in the way; ask questions and continue the conversation until everyone clearly understands.

Try not to put the other party on the defensive. Stay away from “you” statements and use “I” statements instead.

Negative emotions are not beneficial. When you’re experiencing anger, for instance, it’s best to take a few moments and calm down before trying to communicate.

While you can’t control others, learning how to communicate with them more effectively makes it much easier to bring about the positive change you are seeking in your life. As you get better at telling people how you wish to be treated, you are sure to find that your relationships are strengthened and positive change will follow.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Chance is a collaborative writer and editor specializing in how-to, informational, spiritual, and personal development articles and books. Her self-coaching book for women titled Who Am I? is now available through Amazon and her website. Learn more about answering this important question and receive the Top 5 Secrets to Successfully Change Your Life for FREE, by visiting her website and blog. You can also connect with Lori on Facebook at!/pages/Who-Am-I/184242054932889.