How to Overcome the Fear of Communication
Fear is not a bug or disease that one should be scared about. Fear is good at times. While crossing a busy road, you step back out of fear when you see a rushing vehicle. While climbing a mountain, you hold your grips firmly due to fear of falling down. I would not say fear is bad during communication, but it is definitely a barrier to effective communication or a challenge you might be facing while expressing yourself. Whether it is verbal communication or written communication, there can be many reasons for people to have fear of communication – outcomes of the communication, the listeners’ perspective to your communication, lack of ability to think for the right words, and many more. Whatsoever, communication fear is not a phobia that one should be worried about. You can easily overcome the fear of communicating with people by following some simple best practices. Here they go!
Smile to initiate communication: Many experts say, “Smile is the best response!” I must agree that smile definitely helps you initiate a discussion with anyone you want. Be it a stranger or a person you know well, when you have something to say, welcome the moment with a smile. Remember that as you smile, you immediately connect with people mind and make a space for yourself to speak your word.
Rehearse your communication: Communication may be a need in any situation. You may have to talk to a group of people on a topic or make a presentation to a large group of audience. You may have to talk about your project plan in an official meeting or propose your ideas to a group of people outside your organization. No matter what situation you have, the best first step to overcome the fear of communication is to practice. Rehearse on your own, practice with your close friends, or take help of a peer you trust can guide you. “Practice makes a man perfect!” Do not stop yourself from asking for feedback on what skills you need to improve while communication.
Communicate the simple way: Many people think that making use of uncommon words or unique-sounding terms makes their communication powerful. Unless the objective of your communication is not met, there is no reason for people to listen to you or read your e-mails. So, work on using simple words that at the minimum communicate your message effectively.
Follow a one-on-one communication: One of the best ways to overcome the fear of communication is to speak one-on-one with a person who you can trust the most, especially when you have something sensitive to share or have to discuss your personal problems. Again, do not hesitate to take the necessary tips if your next action item on this is to tell about the problem to others for the first time.
Develop confidence to communicate: Do all necessary homework to put your thoughts strongly to your audience. You need to be confident about your ideas you want to share. So validate and ensure that you have the right information for the right kind of audience. The more confident you are, the less fear you will have to communicate. Don’t be overconfident, since others may have a different perspective to your perfectly accurate information.
Prepare your body and mind to communicate: If you are fearful about speaking in front of a large audience, whether in your office or outside, one of the reasons could be your instable body and mind. So, take proper rest, have good food, drink water and keep yourself happy. You need to bring in the freshness of the nature to your body and feel healthy so that your body and mind have enough stamina to fight against your communication fear. One of the simplest processes to eliminate any kind of fear in you is to “feel good.” And, you feel good when you body and mind both connect well with each other and are energetic.
Analyze the risk in communication: What is risk in communication? Either your words are accepted or you may be rejected by the listeners, at large. Remember that the level of acceptance or rejection of communication is more or less the same with everyone, including people who are great communicator. So, you are no different in facing the risks, positive or negative. In a nutshell, the outcome of communication should not be the barrier to communicating with others. Be positive about the results. If you are accepted, you definitely communicated well. If you are rejected, think positive about the opportunity you got to work on your communication skills. Ideally, do not anticipate or pre-