I came across a brilliant article titled “Four Signs a Relationship is Failing” on the Forbes website. The four points mentioned by Travis Bradberry are extremely pertinent to effective communication, but I would prefer that they be used as warnings of potential pitfalls to be avoided in business or personal relationships, rather than the negative association with a broken relationship.

It was revealed in many studies that success in life hinges more on healthy emotional intelligence than on a high IQ, and the good news is that emotional intelligence can be learned! If you are aware that you have any of these nasty habits, it may be time that you replace them with new ones.

Criticism – don’t criticise; instead give constructive feedback. Here it needs to be mentioned that constructive feedback should not be personal, and should focus on what the person does, rather than his or her character.

Defensiveness – Denying responsibility, making excuses, meeting one complaint with another, an aggressive response and other forms of defensiveness prevent a conflict from reaching any sort of resolution and can be extremely destructive to any kind of relationship. Defensiveness increases the anxiety and tension experienced by both parties, and this makes it difficult to resolve issues that need attending to.

Stonewalling Рthis happens when one person shuts the discussion down by refusing to respond. Examples of stonewalling include the silent treatment, being emotionally distant or devoid of emotion, and ignoring the other person completely.

Contempt – stems from a lack of interest in the other person. If your disinterest is unavoidable and the relationship is one that you cannot stay away from – a family member or co-worker – you need to focus on finding common ground. Emotionally intelligent people are able to see the benefit of connecting with many different people, even those they are not fond of.

Here’s to effective communication!