Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
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Thursday, June 15, 2017

How to Improve Your Communication

Ever get frustrated when you're trying to communicate with someone? Either they don't hear you, they misunderstand, they raise their voice, they go off on a tangent or they make random comments that are not related to the topic at hand.  No doubt about it, communication problems can make or break any relationship. 

Many of us want to blame the other person for a miscommunication but this shifts the focus off of who and what we can change - namely ourselves. We have no power over how the other person communicates and if we want to improve the relationship, we will take ownership over our part of the communication issues.

One of the keys to good communication is understanding that there are different styles of communicating. Some people like to chit chat. Others have a goal or a purpose and are to the point. Some people stick to light topics like the weather and sports or the latest Hollywood gossip.  Others like to discuss philosophical ideas and deeper topics such as religion and psychology. The key is to understand we all have different communication styles and personalities.

Here's a personal story. So my sister and I have not been very close over the years. She's been in another state and communication has been infrequent. Lately, due to my mom's situation, we have a need to talk with each other more regularly. It hasn't been easy. I am from a business background and she is not. We have different levels of education and therefore, different ways of thinking. I like to get to the point and get a problem solved. She likes to meander about whatever is going on in her world, regardless of whether it is relevant to the issue at hand. I get impatient. So, realizing this, I shared my frustrations with her. She got it and said she would try to keep her comments succinct.

If you want to improve your communication with others here are 3 keys to consider:

1) Understand what your style of communication is
     Do you like to chit chat or do you prefer having a purpose or a goal to the interaction?
     Do you think as you speak or do you reflect first and then speak?
     Do you prefer light conversation or deep topics?
     Are you more analytical or more emotional?
     Do you have to be right all the time?

2) Understand what the other person's style is
     Are they hesitant to open up and share their feelings?
     Are they aggressive and loud and try to overpower you?
     Are they emotional?
     Are they opinionated?
     Are certain topics too sensitive to be discussed?  

3) Make whatever changes you need to in order to bridge the gap.
    If we want to get along with another person, we must be willing to change. This shows maturity. We don't dig in our heels and say "Well, that's just the way I am". No, we take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we can do to get along better with that difficult person in our life. This also shows we CARE about the relationship and we are putting forth EFFORT to make it better.

For more on the different styles of communication check out this article featured in Forbes magazine.

If you're having problems in a relationship, communication may be the root of the problem. Rather than avoiding the person or throwing in the towel, try sharing your difficulties with them to open up a dialogue for change.  If they care about you and preserving the relationship, they will make the effort.

Love to hear your thoughts on this. Do leave a comment. If you enjoyed this post and would like to join our community and receive my bi-weekly emails on personal growth, relationships, spirituality and healing, enter your email address in the box provided. You'll also receive a copy of my free e-guide entitled "7 Steps to Finding Your Spiritual Path". 

Stay tuned for more insights on how to achieve healing, wholeness, and harmony so you can enjoy the life you dream of and discover your destiny!

Until next time, keep looking up!