What is Authentic Communication & 10 Ways To Achieve It

The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.  ~Anthony Robbins

We are told that we need to be authentic and communicate authentically but what does this really mean?  Let’s look at the definitions of these two words:

  • Communication – the conveying of information from one party to another
  • Authentic – not false, genuine, real

So, based on those definitions, authentic communication is a two way transmission of real information.  For some reason that seems very technical.  Let’s deem authentic communication as actually hearing and understanding what one another says which would only be truthful and open conversing that is also compassionate. In other words, authentic communication is honest but not unkind. 

Here are ten aids that you can put into practice today for you to communicate authentically.

  1. Be Aware: You need to be conscious of your own prejudices and how they may impact your communication with others.  Being self-aware means having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.  By knowing yourself you can communicate better and more authentically. 
  2. Be Passionate: Show your positive emotions and your passion about the issue or cause.  Remember that your enthusiasm is contagious and can have a huge impact in how others grab on to the vision or believe in their own ability to achieve the goals.   Sharing how you feel can help others connect to you on a personal level where all authentic communication truly begins. 

The genius of communication is the ability to be both totally honest and totally kind at the same time.  ~John Powell

3. Be Present:  Fully present means that you are completely involved in the communication process.  You are not looking at your phone or thinking about what you will have for lunch.  You are unequivocally engaged in listening and understanding what the other person is trying to convey to you.  You have your focus, your attention, your thoughts and feelings all fixed on the task at hand.

4. Be Responsible:  To actively listen which means to be sure that the receiver heard and understands what you are saying.  Listening more often than you speak and when listening, focusing on the speaker and his or her message content, rather than thinking about how to respond.

The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversations is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying, and we never listen when we are eager to speak.  ~Francois La Rochefoucauld

5. Be Consistent:  If you give your word keep your word. People’s expectation based on what you have said to them is how you form trust.  This is vital in maintaining any type of honest communication between parties.  It is your responsibility to keep your word or to let others know when you may have an issue with a commitment you made.  This shows that you respect the relationship as well as the overall task over your ego or pride.  People will admire your honesty. 

6. Be Watchful: People can tell if you are being authentic with them by your body language; your gestures and eye contact.  To be watchful of body language means that you are calm, not fidgeting or nervous looking. You give direct eye contact while listening and showing that you are interested in what they say.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said. ~Peter Drucker

7. Be Caring: Show real empathy and compassion over complex matters.  Be other oriented; this means that we are making a real connection to the other person and trying to understand their situation or side of the problem in a sincere way.  Showing true warmth and understanding for the other person makes communication more genuine and less confrontational so that we can all get along. 

8. Be Genuine: Honest and open dialogue that is truthful and conversational is the best way to deal with those issues that are more delicate.  No lying or exaggerating the issue at hand with overly emotional tones.  We all want honest communication but being angry or overly sensitive is not helpful in any form of communication. 

Not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.  ~George Sala

9. Be Clear: Choice your words for understanding not impressing.  Use straight forward unpretentious language so that the message you are trying to convey can be understood.  You are responsible to the listener to be sure that they understand your words. Ask them to repeat back to you what they understood you to say as a check that both parties communicated clearly. 

10. Be Specific:  Don’t over generalize when you are speaking.  If there is a specific problem only deal with that issue.  We need to be factual and less opinionated when we are discussing issues with others.   Once we all understand the facts and details of the matter then we can formulate options.  This is when our opinions can be introduced.    

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. ~Lee Iacocca

As you can see, authenticity in communication allows for an open exchange—of ideas, feelings, and support—that builds trust, commitment, and favor among listeners.  If you would like more help in using these ten habits to be more authentic in your communications with others please feel free to contact me.



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