Communication is always important but in these very turbulent, scary and ever-changing times, communication is absolutely essential! We see the results of poor communication or in some cases no communication at all playing out in press conferences we’re watching, workplace telemeetings, emails and texts and even in our daily lives at home.
So, here are some basic and simple things we can do to improve our communication and lessen our misunderstandings.
Listening always has been the most important part of speaking and it still is! When we’re frustrated, angry or stressed we tend to want to speak first and listen later. Reverse that!
2- FIND THE FACTS
Search for the facts, not the things we wished would be facts or the things others seem to think are the facts, The Facts! Once you’ve found them, not only use them but share them.
3- THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
I can’t count the number of times that my Mom and Dad told me this. The older I get, the more I realize how wise they were. Simply taking a breath or pausing for a couple of seconds can make all the difference between communicating and venting.
4- COMMUNICATE DON’T VENT
Yelling, screaming, being sarcastic or cynical doesn’t get much done. You might think they’re making you feel better but what you’re actually doing is creating even more miscommunication that you’ll need to clean up later.
Empathy is simply the ability to understand and appreciate what someone else is feeling or going through. How important is this? Ask yourself if this is something you’d like someone to do for you. (The answer is yes by the way.) While we may be sharing the same space, we all got there by walking different paths.
6- IT’S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE SMOOTH
No matter how much we strive to communicate well, there will be times when things break down. It’s OK! Look, we’re human and we make mistakes. It’s how we react to this miscommunications that matter.
7- TELL THE TRUTH
Lying will not help. If you think it might help, go back to that first sentence and reread it again and again.
8- QUESTIONS TO ALWAYS ASK
In every communication we have, keep these things in mind. Is what I’m about to say or write… Kind-Honest-Just? Ask yourself if what you’re about to do or say is the right thing to do.
The bottom line is to just do your best, that’s all you can do. This is gonna be a period in our lives where none of us have ever been before. Be honest with others. Be honest with yourself. Ask for help if you need it. Remember that even small progress is still progress.
Stay Safe and Healthy