Effective communication is the key to a happy workplace and a happy home.
How many times have you heard someone says “I keep telling them what is wrong but they just won’t listen to my concerns” or “I’m not going to say anything because they didn’t listen to me the last time I shared my opinion.”
Many people struggle with communicating effectively because they may have grown up hearing their parents say things like “don’t speak until you are spoken to or asked a question” or children should be seen and not heard”.
Some people may have been hurt or publicly humiliated for sharing their personal beliefs or feeling about a certain topic and now instead of speaking up they just stuff their feelings.
I have experienced all of the examples I shared above personally and professionally and struggled with the last example for years until I learned some valuable tools and rules for effective communication.
First, let’s take a look at what fuels the current failed model of communication. We compensate for no freedom of self-expression by protecting ourselves from being hurt, trying to force an outcome, avoiding or defending our opinion, and withholding the information that could make a difference to hurt someone else. Once you withhold we justify why we must withhold.
The old model of communication has resulted in many of the issues that plague our society today. So how can we exchange this old failed model for a new model that allows each person the freedom to fully express themselves without fear of being attacked or ridiculed and when we are attacked respond with an attitude of love and compassion?
Five keys to effective communication
Take a look at your current relationships that are strained and take responsibility for your part in the failed relationship, forgive yourself, and forgive the other person. Realize that they are coming from a place of living life based on the communication examples they were exposed to by their parents and their peers.
Give up having to be right. You can be right or have a good marriage. By having to be right you close the channel for effective communication.
Honor your word. For example: When you make a commitment to meet someone at a specific time and you are running late get in contact with the person you are meeting as soon as possible and let them know when you will arrive. When you arrive be responsible and let that person know that when you meet in the future you will
Eliminate preconceived negative experiences going into the conversation by replacing them with the positive outcome you would like to have. Bring everything and nothing to the conversation.
Be open to dancing in the conversation. Picture a couple of people ballroom dancing, each person is in partnership and as on leads and on follows. Be a good listener and acknowledge your partner by recreating what they said so they know they have been heard.
These are just some of the key communication skills I learned that have helped me have built strong lasting relationships and transformed how my wife and I communicate so that there is literally nothing we can’t share openly with each other. By practicing these five keys to effective communication you can heal past hurts and create life long relationships that allow the freedom to be fully self-expressed and transform your home life and your workplace into a place of harmony and oneness.