“Speak up for yourself”
“State clearly your message”
“Time what you have to say”
“Mind your tone”
There are so many things that we hear on how to communicate effectively. There is probably a ton of more things that can be given in quotes. Communication is key is as interchangeable as the key is communication. Having effective communication is the base for improving relationships. When working with couples, this is a common complaint. Struggling to understand one another in the most functional of ways.
Communication is a way to connect. It can bring two people to an understanding that leaves them feeling clear and confident. Or it can be tense and nerve-wracking when trying but failing to connect. Some people may welcome the challenge while others shy away and avoid it. There are three main areas that I’ve found communication to take a hit.
TONE- The way that you share your point of view is the difference between being truly heard and understood versus speaking with a wall for all the impact you may make! For those of you that struggle with sharing overly passionate, being a naturally loud speaker, or working yourself into a heightened and excitably state… RELAX. There is no justice if your message isn’t heard because you delivered it as a conversational bomb. The opposite goes to reason if you are soft-spoken and quick to avoid conflict. If there is too much bubble wrap and tape over your package, it could discourage the receiver of the message to open it. Strive to actively listen and assertively reply.
TIMING- Sometimes I think of the old conundrum, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” This questions sparks many answers that goes to the source of a person’s interpretation of “sound”. Logically, some may go, of course it makes a sound. Though, others argue that if no one is there then there is no proof. I bring this idea up because the tree’s timing mattered. Don’t be fooled, this tree has impact on its surroundings. Though, it could have been much more impactful in the presence of someone. Maybe, even more so, in the presence of an audience. If you are in a relationship, time what you need to say when it is most impactful and productive. If it is a critic, why share it in an audience? If it is compliment in response to another’s person’s critic to your partner: Would it not be more profound to share within the context of the audience giving the critic. So often, partner’s may time responses to other’s critic of their partner only within their mind or one-on-one with their partner after damage has been made by others.
BODY LANGUAGE- Are you open during communication? No one wants to feel like they are talking to a wall or being vulnerable with someone marking the stance of judgement. How will you know if your body language is off-putting? I implore you to think about the last time that a close person became vulnerable with you. Meaning they showed you what they perceived as a flaw. How did you react? Soothing, understanding, or even nurturing to it. Or, were there questions, snide comments meant to weaponize, or shutting them down by disregarding what they felt as an absurd notion. If you responded in the former, I imagine the person maybe came back and continued to share their inner world. Though if it is the latter, the emotional distance may feel like the grand canyon.
If your goal is to improve areas of communication for yourself and your relationships, think about how these three concepts connect and resonate.