The Art of Communication
Do you have trouble expressing yourself? Do you get stuck trying to think of the right words to say? Are you afraid that what you say may not be taken well? Great communication involves knowing how to express yourself, but in a way that allows the other person to fully receive it. It can take some practice (but aren't we all works in progress?).
One of my clients is learning the skill of "direct communication" (which means communicating in a clear, straightforward, and involves the art of active listening to really hear what the other person is trying to say). It has not been easy for her in the past to convey her needs, but she is learning that if something is really important to her, she needs to find a way to say what is on her mind - in a format that is best for her and the person she is speaking with. (We’ll be covering more on that in a little bit). After working together in a session, she stated: "“I didn't lose anything by speaking out, and if I did, it wasn't worth keeping." She realized that her fear of what the other person was going to say or how they were going to react was holding her back. By saying what she needed to in a direct, clear way, she was able to keep her emotions out of it, be very present, and in the end, feel really good about how she handled the conversation and herself! She is not alone in having these challenges. Many people have a hard time conveying their needs, or requesting something of others. Here are a few tips to help you communicate better: Time it right. That means talking when you are not harried and feeling rushed. Choose a time when you are both able to be fully present. Create the right environment. Try to pick a place that is calming and appealing to the both of you and that has no distractions. Aim for the best state of mind (and body). It's best when the two of you are not hungry, angry, or really tired. Be clear in what you want to communicate. Perhaps you need to do a little write-up before hand to clarify what is important to you and what you would like to convey. Try the "Oreo" approach: Start with an honest compliment - something that you like about the other person or the way they in which they handled something well. Next convey what you are trying to ask or say, using verbiage such as, " I feel ______ when ______ happens" (which puts the focus on you) as opposed to "When you do this _______ I feel ______" (which can put someone on the defensive). End with another acknowledgement of one of their good points. Truly Listen. One of the most important parts of communication is really listening to what they have to say, and acknowledging them as well.
Great communication is a skill that can be learned. It just takes a little time and effort to set yourself up for success.
If you are in need of coaching or would like to find out more, please call me at 732-688-3060
or visit my website at: www.alifethatfits.com
Please feel free to comment below to share what has worked for you. I welcome your feedback!
All the best,
P.S. - to listen to this in podcast form, click here: