| Article Summary:
Every single one of us can benefit from enhancing our communication skills. Whether you are a student, entrepreneur or stay-at-home parent, you absolutely need to effectively communicate what you want and need to make your life a lot smoother.
What is Communication?
Have you ever walked away from a conversation totally confused? Maybe the person you were speaking with took what you were trying to say completely out of context. Or, maybe you can't seem to grasp the other person's position on a topic.
Communicating effectively can be difficult at times. Doing so involves more than just a string of sentences and the underlying meaning of what you are trying to convey.
As you have probably noticed, there is quite a bit of room for interpretation and distortion of the intended message by the receiver (listener, reader). And, as a communicator, your goal is to get your point across as effectively as possible with little room for misinterpretation.
Here are the various aspects that make up communications:
- Body language, visual cues (someone's facial expressions for instance)
- Voice, inflections
- Selective hearing or lack of hearing (including environmental noise)
- Transmission mode (email, text message, voicemail, conversation)
- Pre-conceived notions or assumptions
- Interpersonal and/or organizational relationships
- Cultural differences
- Images used to help convey the message (PowerPoint, photographs, etc.)
Click Image To Enlarge.
Your goal is to get your point across as effectively
as possible with little room for misinterpretation.
How Bodybuilding Can Help You Enhance Your Communication Skills
A seemingly individual sport such as bodybuilding can indeed enhance your communication skills:
- Bodybuilding Helps You Develop Confidence: Even if you are shy or introverted, bodybuilding will help you develop an all-around sense of confidence in yourself.
When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good you stand up straight and feel better about communicating in a variety of situations. And, when you are confident, you can brush aside what some may interpret as rejection.
- Bodybuilding Requires Communication: At some point you are going to end up asking someone if they are done with a certain machine (even if that means you are motioning toward the machine with an inquisitive look) or if they can help spot you.
By talking to complete strangers that you see everyday (versus the person you'll never see again), you are building your communication skills and developing the ability to ask for what you want. Now carry this over to other areas of your life.
- Bodybuilding Helps You Decrease Your Stress: Stress can take a physical and mental toll on your body. And, it can drastically decrease your attention span and patience - both of which are not good for effective communication. Be sure to get in the gym regularly, especially during times where you are stressed out. You will find that your daily life is easier to handle when you can blow off some steam by lifting weights.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Your daily life is easier to handle when you
can blow off some steam by lifting weights.
- Bodybuilders Take Care Of Themselves: As a bodybuilder you listen to the doctor and seek help if something isn't quite right. If your physician has prescribed ADD/ADHD medicine, anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants, you will take them as directed and ask what else you can do to focus better or feel better.
- Bodybuilders Seek Knowledge: Bodybuilders know a lot about both nutrition and training because they are always reading about the latest and greatest supplements, training techniques and nutrition research. This quest for knowledge can make you dig deeply to understand and improve other areas of your life including your communication skills.
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Additional Tips To Help You Enhance Your Communication Skills
- Pick up a few excellent books:
- If members of the opposite sex leave you miffed, pick up the book "You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation" by Deborah Tannen. You will have many "ah-ha" moments and even understand how your own cohorts operate (females if you are a female, men if you are a male).
- Read "The Aladdin Factor." Small kids demand things of you and ask for what they want. As we become adult though, we've been shot down so many times that we sometimes shy away from asking for what we want. The Aladdin Factor will make you remember that you actually have to ask for what you want. Most people can't read your mind.
- Read anything by Dale Carnegie
- Practice your listening skills. When someone is speaking, wait for him/her to stop before interjecting and then verbalize back to him or her what you believe they said ("so from what I understand, you are saying ...").
- Put away your pre-conceived notions and keep your mind open. This definitely takes practice.
- Engage others in communication - you can practice your communication skills on a salesperson, car mechanic or customer service representative (now that takes patience after you've been on hold for 10 minutes listening to elevator music).
Click Image To Enlarge.
Engage others in communication, you might even
be surprised by who you'll end up meeting.
- If something is bothering you, tell the person or it will eat at you until you blow-up (using poor communication skills by that point).
- Tell the truth. If your significant other looks like they stepped out of the 70s, suggest a different outfit. Just don't lie to save face - it will catch up with you later.
- Take a look at the non-verbal messages you are sending (you can judge these by the way people react toward you).
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Bodybuilding can help you build your communication skills. You will enhance your confidence, practice communicating (verbally and non-verbally) with your gym mates, decrease your stress and enhance your ability to dig deeply to understand any communications mishaps you may have.
About The Author:
Marie Spano is a leading authority on translating the latest nutrition and exercise science research into real life applications. Ms. Spano has also helped Olympic athletes, NFL-bound athletes and Fortune 500 executives enhance their health and performance through sound nutrition practices. She is a regular contributor to bodybuilding.com. For more information see: