Would You Like to be a Better Communicator?
7 STEPS TO BETTER COMMUNICATION!
When there is good communication in relationships there is honesty and trust and a safe container is created for nurturing and opening up.
Good communication is also about the way you talk to your partner -how you listen to each other and how you respond. As you learn to be authentic and to speak from your heart, ask yourself the following questions. Your words may take more time to form, but hey, you are changing the habits of a lifetime and in the process creating a deeper and more loving relationship.
What am I really reacting to here ?
What am I observing or am I making an evaluation?
What feelings are alive in me this moment?What are my needs?Am I making a clear request to anyone?
Q: What is the difference between a reaction and a response?
A: About one minute or ten breaths and a response?
About one minute or perhaps ten breaths!
Here are some steps towards better communication:
1. Listen to Understand
Breathe into your heart and quieten your internal dialogue ie. go into neutral. Focus on understanding how your partner is feeling rather than on challenging them or finding a solution to their problem. Wait for them to finish before you reply.
"You should not have your own idea when you listen to someone...to have nothing in your mind is naturalness. Then you will understand what he says"-Shunryo Suzuki
2. Respond Skillfully
Show interest in what your partner is saying and ask for clarification if you do not understand. Always begin in a friendly tone and make them feel like what they have to say is worthwhile ie.validate your partner. Ask questions rather than giving an order. You don't have to agree with what is said.....your task is only to understand.
" I am curious as to........Could you tell me more about this?"
"I can see what you mean......is it possible that......?
3. Right timing
Make sure your partner is ready to hear what you have to say before you say it. Wait for all distractions to disappear before you engage in a meaningful discussion, so that your partner can give you their full attention
" You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time"-M. Scott Peck.
4. Body Language
Make sure what you say is congruent with what you do. Let your body be relaxed and turned towards your partner. When your partner finishes speaking, paraphrase what you have heard and connect your eyes with your partner's. Become genuinely interested in what your partner has to say. A possible response to not being understood could be
"I'm grateful to you for telling me what you heard. I can see that I didn't make myself as clear as I'd have liked, so let me try again"
5. Talk About Your Feelings
Talk about your own feelings and behavior, rather than your partner's. Own your feeling. Start with" I feel....because I..."and then ask your partner how they feel, rather than pretending to mind read. Assumptions lead you astray. Speak your truth from your heart.
Connect your feelings to your needs an example is:
I feel angry when you get home late, because I need help with the kids"
6. Identify your own needs
If you don't value your own needs, others may not either. Clearly tell the other person what you need, taking responsibility for your own feelings and needs. This avoids blaming and judging the person because of unmet and unexpressed needs. No character assassinations or criticisms, thanks! Be aware that you can't be responsible for other's feelings and also, be careful that you are not meeting your own needs at the expense of others.
Example: "I am needing more respect in our dialogue. Instead of telling us how you think we are acting,would you tell us what it is you are doing that you find so disturbing?"I am needing more respect in our dialogue.
7. Making Requests
Firstly express what you want in a positive. Saying what you don't want leaves people confused as to what is actually being requested. For example, if you say " I don't want you to spend so much time in the office" but really mean " I want you to spend more time with me and the children" you may find your partner filling his time with another activity because you were not clear in asking for what you want. Be clear and concise!
To sort out whether you are requesting or demanding, tell the person what you are willing to do and ask them what are they willing to do, and check out that you are not laying a guilt trip.
Formula for success
I observe or see......
I feel.......when I.......
I need .....
I would like.....
THE CONFLICT BUSTER
1. Recognise your own judgmental thoughts. What is your self-talk?
2. Go into the space of neutral ie. stand back, and breathe into your heart
3. See what options are available to you. If this was happening to your friend, what advice would you give them?
4. Find something to appreciate about the speaker, or just spend some time in appreciation and gratitude on your own, if there is no easy answer
5. Ask your heart, what is the inner wisdom to get you out of judgement. Dissolve the significance of the moment, by seeing the bigger perspective. This is the space that can give you great clarity and insight.
Sending appreciation to yourself, as well as others, is regenerative and good for your entire system-mentally, emotionally and physically
Enjoy your conversations!