Communication, true communication, is almost impossible in the best of circumstances. It takes a ‘perfect storm’ to bring together these three necessary things:
• Your clear, concise message
• The other person’s receptivity & ability to listen
The obstacles are many. They include faulty listening filters, cultural differences, stress & hurry, moods, and – a big one -- not being sure yourself exactly what you want to communicate. How, then, is true communication possible?
Start with the main Ingredient: RESPECT.
Definition of respect: Esteem & admiration, an act of giving particular attention, willingness to show consideration or appreciation
Respect leads to the possibility of actually getting your message across by opening up the other person’s receptivity and ability to listen. In fact, if you respect the other person, you will have a natural connection with her. Your message will automatically become clearer, she will be more open to what you have to say and you will sense when the right time to talk to her is.
If you truly want to communicate with someone and do not have much respect for him, you can look deeper for what you CAN genuinely respect about him. To find respect, you first have to let go of assumptions, judgments, negativity and drama. These things kill respect and letting go of them is worth practicing.
Maybe he’s a lousy boss, but a good father, skilled businessman or powerful negotiator. Once you find the respect, you can connect with him. This is not manipulation, but truly the art of connecting with another person. Warning: If you are not genuine, your communication will fall short. Guaranteed.
You can influence the ‘perfect storm’ necessary for true communication with respect. It is ‘sweeter than honey,’ sings Aretha Franklin in the Otis Redding song, “Respect.” And it is worth finding. The other person becomes better and so do you.
You will want to read The Gifts of Imperfection if you are:
• Tired of living your life from "should" and are ready to live from your heart
• Interested in research-based information that includes the word "wholehearted"
• Done with trying to live up to the expectations of others
• Ready to follow that age-old advice: "Just be yourself"
The Gifts of Imperfection by Dr. Brené Brown is a guide to wholehearted living. The book is surprisingly un-sentimental, action-oriented and just plain true. The kind of true that will have you shaking your head yes while you are reading. From her research and her personal journey into wholeheartedness, Brown lifts up the very real possibility of actually living as yourself with no apologies.
“Worthiness doesn't have prerequisites.”
― Brené Brown
Ever tried to get an important message across in a group or team and felt misunderstood or worse -- ignored? Communication can be a tricky business even though the basic steps are simple:
1. Have an idea what you want to say.
2. Get crystal clear on the best way to say it.
3. Find the right time.
4. Say it clearly.
There are many classes and articles about how to do steps 1, 2 and 4, but not so much about step 3, Find the right time.
It has been said that it is more important to say something at the right time than to say it the right way. Think about it. No matter how eloquently you speak, if no one wants to hear you or can listen to you, your message will not get across.
The right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. -- Joshua Harris
On the other hand, at the right moment, you can even speak your message poorly and it will carry the day.
Remember the little boy who shouted, “The Emperor wears no clothes!” Talk about timing…
Then there is the amount of thought that goes into it when you want to ask someone to marry you. Everything has to be just right, especially the timing.
For a parent or teacher, the most powerful time to teach the child is when he or she really wants to know.
Here are 4 secrets to finding the right timing for your important message:
• Wait to be invited. Try being quiet next time until someone invites or asks for your opinion. If you are someone who tends to speak out a lot, beware of false invitations to speak. Play hard to get.
• Before you begin, ask, “Is this a good time to talk about…?” or “Would you like to hear what I read about…?”
• Test the water. Mention something briefly that is related to your message and see if people are interested. Then go further.
• Keep your remarks short. Let the conversation naturally “grow” around your remarks instead of dominating the conversation.
Knowing the best timing is about being in the flow. These secrets can help you get a feel for the flow. And remember that what you want to say might not need to be said right now. Trust that the right moment will appear.
Right time, right place, right people equals success. Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people equals most of the real human history. ― Idries Shah
When someone talks to you, what are you listening for? I’m not asking why you are listening to the person, but instead, when you listen, what are you paying attention to about what that person is saying?
Have you ever talked to someone about doing a job for you, and then listened for how much it was going to cost you? Now usually that’s the last thing they’ll tell you, so sometimes, as you are waiting to hear the fee, you can miss details about their services.
Or maybe you got called into your boss’s office around the time layoffs were happening. Probably you were listening for if you still have a job or not. Whatever the boss said before that, was ‘Blah, blah, blah.’ What did you miss?
When we listen, whether we know it or not, we are listening for something. If we have low self-esteem, we might be listening for criticism. If we think the person we are talking to is intelligent, we might be listening for what she says that is brilliant. If we have a strong opinion about something, we might be listening for agreement or non-agreement.
This is a very simple concept. ‘Listening for’ occurs unconsciously, based on the unexamined judgments that we have about others, the world and ourselves. What we are ‘listening for’ is a reflection of our judgments and worldview. Until we get more aware of what that is, we are at the mercy of our own limitations.
Since what you hear depends on what you’re listening for, how can you expand your listening? Experiment with these two ideas and see what happens:
1. When you have conversations, become aware of what you are listening for. This takes honesty and some insight. You might need to slow down a little bit to notice.
2. See what happens when you change what you’re listening for. For example:
For over 20 years Susan has been a coach, consultant and corporate trainer. She is the co-founder of the Coach Group of Switzerland.