The Power of Successful Communication
TALK, or good communication, is the Air for all personal and professional relationships, and includes both listening and sharing.
We need to learn the art of effectively sharing our thoughts, feelings, and needs. Without it, real intimacy and love is impossible. First and foremost is to learn the art of listening. Remember that we have two ears and one mouth, a clear reminder that we need to listen twice as much as we speak. In fact, it takes twice as much energy, effort, and patience to listen as it does to share. And, because we all have different temperaments, characters, and personalities, disagreement is inevitable, and conflict is the price we pay for intimacy.
We need to learn about, understand and honor each other’s differences, including temperament, personality styles, love languages, gender differences, cultural backgrounds and more.
The TALK Section presents simple, effective, and powerful skills for Effective Listening, which include:
- Eye contact: Looking into the eyes of the speaker creates your first connection and lets him or her know that you are attentive to and receiving what is being expressed.
- Join together: Rather than simply giving advice or your opinion, stand in the other person’s shoes. As you learn to quiet your own thoughts and opinions, you can simply join in his or her world, which will allow the other person to feel deeply understood and validated.
- Body language and tone of voice: Research shows that these usually say more than the words being spoken. Observe her posture, her gestures, and her facial expressions. Listen to the tone of his voice. Listen with your eyes, your mind, and your heart.
- Reflective Listening is a powerful communication tool that when practiced effectively, ensures that each person feels completely heard and validated. Here you will learn how to Paraphrase the other’s communication, then to Validate his or her thoughts, and finally to Empathize with his or her feelings. You will also learn how to effectively use the magic words for wholehearted listening: “Thank you, tell me more,” as well as the gift of silence, and when it is important to KYMS: Keep Your Mouth Shut and be a silent witness.
It is easy to love those who are like ourselves. Building community means getting to know and love people unlike yourself. It is difficult to embrace those who have a different personality and hail from a different culture, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. Prejudice is an emotion. It is illogical, and stems either from either a survival instinct or a learned behavior from family and friends. Discover how to reach out across the divide of differences. This will enrich your life as you enrich the lives of others.