No matter your age, experience, IQ, education, race, gender, or gaming expertise (haha), your ability to communicate effectively will lead to greater success… and heart health.
Heart health? Yep. Poor communication is the greatest area of stress for humans. It can lead to anything from miscommunication, to violent disputes. The ability to understand and appreciate each other is detrimental to our success and health.
Communication is two parts: The ability to understand, and be understood.
- When you’re communicating, ensure you are present. Daily meditation and mindfulness training will help you establish quick and easy ways to be present. Starting communication from a state of presence will align your heart and head with those around you. You’ll be able to connect.
- Practice active listening. Pay attention to not only what others say, but how they say it. What words do they use? What does their posture and body language tell you? Communication is not just the words themselves, but the complete context.
- Understand the context from the story-teller’s point of view, not your own. When you’re listening you need to remove as many filters as possible. Those filters are preconceptions and judgements. You need to strive to understand the communication from the other’s perspective, how they feel, what they believe. When you’re receiving communication it’s not at that point that you analyze it, you need to focus first on absorbing the correct information. The only correct interpretation is of the communicator, not the listener.
- Always ensure you’ve understood by confirming with the communicator. It may be a simple “is this what you mean?” to a more complex reiteration with examples to expand the thought.
To be understood…
- Both sides of communication should be present. Before you begin communicating drop into presence and ensure you’re aligned to the audience. I find heart based presence the most rewarding for both personal and business related communication. With practice (mindfulness training and biofeedback), you can be present within your heart while leveraging your head.
- Only you know exactly what is going on in your head and what you need to communicate, thus it is up to you to assess your listener and communicate in a way that best meets their needs. As the communicator you own the story. It is your responsibility to be clear, and to create the correct image/story for your audience.
- Know your audience. Do they need facts and examples, stories and pictures, attached emotions, void of emotions, more eye contact… or less? There is significant science on communication styles and body language. A elementary understanding of these will help anyone. If you communicate often to broad audiences, you’ll benefit from additional coaching and research into the science.
- Know what you expect from communicating. Are you just sharing a thought? Do you expect action? Know your expectation and get that into the communication. Your audience needs to know why you’re communicating with them.
- The key is to be understood. Sometimes we see our expected results as the key, to elicit a response. Our audience needs to understand us, even if they don’t agree. For information on social influence, view the video series by Robert Cialdini.
When you grow your communication skills you will experience… more. More understanding, more acceptance, more alignment, more trust, more intimacy, more success, more peace.
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