All too often in relationships, we say one thing and the other person hears something else. Conflicts and misunderstandings arise if we fail to communicate effectively. Effective communication is more about listening and less about talking. It is about focussing on what you want to say. Understanding the emotions of the speaker through listening to tone of voice, considering the words spoken and concentrating for subtle intonations reveals much about the communicator’s message. When a person feels heard and understood, you are able to build more positive relationships.
Words have power and learning how to convey or receive a message with positive intention, enables you to communicate or take in difficult messages without creating conflict. As giver and receiver of communication, work towards being clear on what it is you want to communicate, the intention of the message you want to share and the outcome you are hoping for.
Improving communication skills combines assertive expression, understanding your emotions and the emotions of the person you are speaking with, engaged listening, managing your personal stressors in the moment and nonverbal communication (body language, facial expression, body movement, posture, tone of voice, eye movement, breathing and muscle tension).
Managing your own communications when things become heated by staying calm and relaxed helps you to balance your feelings and in turn your behavioural, verbal responses and physical actions.
While effective communication can be learnt, it’s more valid when it’s spontaneous. The more effort you put in to saying what you mean and meaning what you say builds a solid foundation from which to communicate from. Effective communication is not about forcing your opinions on your mother or winning arguments against her, but the basis of communication should be to consider what it is you want to communicate, the end goal of the communication, while also reflecting on her responses to further understand her.
Being empathic in your conversations whilst still valuing yourself and your personal opinions, staying true to your needs and wants while considering your mother’s, allows you an opportunity to feedback positively, expressing your thoughts in an assertive but caring way.
You might find it interesting to notice the different communication styles when you are watching TV, shopping in a supermarket, watching parents interact with their children and also in your workplace. You can learn much from watching others and seeing what does and doesn’t work when it comes to effective communication.
In next week's blog the theme is on setting boundaries in relationships with a clear action plan to do just that.
If you'd like to work with me please make contact to discuss your needs. In addition to relationship support there are many life areas I cover you can find out more information about support programmes here
Words are singularly the most powerful tool available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to harm, to humiliate and to humble - Yehuda Berg