Learning to Communicate

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Commuinication can be a painful process. It can also be dangerous if not handled properly.   Here are 5 things to remember:

  1. Listen carefully to the tone and emotion of the words people send your way.  Then respond to the words and actual issue and not just the emotion.   Listening can make a big difference in how you respond.   Most communication is non-verbal, so if you are in front of a person, look at their eyes and body language as well.
  2. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  Use the “room” perspective.  If two people are in a room, siting at opposite ends of a table, will they see the same thing?  Will they have the same view?  Of course not.  One person will see one side of the room and the other person, the other side.  The only way to see what another person sees is to get up and sit on their side of the table.
  3. Stick with the subject of the discussion and don’t bring in other things that have nothing to do with the current problem.  Save that for another time.
  4. Never send other people to communicate for you.  “Ask John if he really liked the party and let me know”.  Ask him yourself or live with not knowing.  When you have 2nd and  3rd hand communication, problems are just waiting to happen.  People more often than not put their own spin on the words said and it can skew your view of the answer.
  5. WATCH YOUR WORDS! Often when we are trying to express ourselves, our emotions are part of the package deal.  We need to learn self-control from God, since he created communication, he can show us how.  If you have time, think about the bottom line of what you want to say.  You don’t have to mention every iota of what came across your mind.  Get to the basics.  ” I felt…bad  when you said that”.  “When I thought you had ignored me it really hurt my feelings”.  In the book of revelations, when Christ had faults to tell the church, he first told them what they were doing right.   Always find that good side so that the person is not always on the defense in the conversation. Nobody likes a total putdown.   Hopefully you’re trying to build a bridge and not tear it down.

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