Communication is an integral part of the growth of any relationship, be it platonic or romantic. I subscribe to this view and I often ask certain questions whenever the opportunity presents itself. For example, when thoughts are communicated, does the receiving party understand what is said or he/she just reads a subjective meaning into what has been explained? It must be noted, that if the goal of comprehension isn’t attained, then the purpose of communication is defeated.
Communication is meant to fulfill three goals: to inform, persuade, and make requests. All of these are to achieve one purpose and that is to build relationships.
A common misconception is that communication hovers on speaking alone and as a result, many have unconsciously failed at being good listeners. The conversation about communication has been centered on the speaker so much, that the duty to listen well has been underemphasized.
For a fact, communication is a two-way street, therefore it involves both lucid speaking and active listening. This means that when someone speaks, the audience or listener must pay attention to what is being said and not allow personal bias or thoughts to color or erode the expression of the speaker in their mind. This way, the listener would be able to comprehend what is being said and would not misconstrue the statements heard just because he is eager to give a reply or response.Communication is a two-way street, it involves both lucid speaking and active listening... Never allow personal bias color or erode the expression of the speaker in your mind Click To Tweet
For communication to be considered effective, the recipient of the information being passed must stay objective and realize that unspoken interpretations made from words said could be wrong if clarifications are not made. For instance, the statement “I love beans” does not necessarily mean “I hate rice”.
As simple as this sounds, a lot of us have failed many times at being great communicators and this has resulted in many relationships hitting the rocks.
If you must maintain a relationship, you must be prepared to hold conversations, the friendly, and tough ones alike. Engaging the right tools in communication, however, makes it easier for both parties.If you must maintain a relationship, you must be prepared to hold conversations, the friendly, and tough ones alike. Click To Tweet
Here are some tips that can aid your listening:
- Listen to understand: Both parties must seek to understand each other before giving responses. You could recap what the person has just said to confirm that you are on the same page. You can ask questions to clarify ambiguities. In communication, it is never safe to assume.
- Listen from a place of love: The most important thing about communication is that we must learn to speak and listen from a place of love. We are to inform, persuade and make requests with love in our hearts. The same applies to listening. As speakers, our listeners must be able to feel the love in our speech. On the other side as well, the speaker must be able to sincerely feel the listener’s love and respect which will be loud in the genuine attention as well as body and eye language, if the communication is a physical one.
- Affirm each other’s ideas even before agreeing, disagreeing, or reaching a compromise. Acknowledge the fact that you understand the other party’s viewpoint, then go ahead to respond. By doing this, you show genuine respect for the other person and his thoughts. Of course, some thought patterns need not be affirmed but shut down immediately, and that would be driven by love also.
I would like to leave you with one of my favorite passages:
“Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.”
Colossians 4:5-6 MSG