The most important thing in communication is
hearing what isn't said
Peter F. Drucker 1909-2005, American management guru
How I work with you regarding communication
There are many things that hinder effective communication with our loved ones, colleagues at work and in public. We would begin by exploring when you communicate well (and how you do that), followed by when communication does not go as you want, what gets in the way. Once we establish your challenge(s) then we develop creative strategies to improve your effectiveness. We might role play various options, or write a script, always playing with various options until you have at least three things to try. Once you have used these ideas in your life then we would debrief how it went: celebrate your successes, fine tune strategies and if it becomes evident that it isn't working for reasons beyond your control, grieve and accept what can't be changed.
About communicationCommunication is the corner stone of relationships. Even not communicating is a communication. There are situations where it is important and safe to communicate our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and values. There are others where it is not safe to do so. We each have unique styles of commuicating, which can vary from situations to situation. Cross cultural and cross gender communication is fraught with many ways to miscommunicate, misunderstand and misinterpretate.
Some possible obstacles to effective communication are historical based on experience; or cognitive based on thoughts, beliefs, & values; or social based on expectations, fear of judgment or power differences; or emotional such as anxiety, depression or stress. Lack of time, lack or resources and competing interests also get in the way of communication which depends on connection.
It is important to note that communication is a two-way street, and your inability to get the results you are trying to communicate may not be due to poor communication on your part. (See my section on Assertiveness).
What Works for Improve Communication
There are many ways to improve communication - there are books, workbooks and groups you can obtain or attend. Individual or couple counselling is often beneficial.
Self awareness and the ability to self-soothe are very important. Meditation and mindfulness can assist with this.
Learning to listen is essential, as are working with obstacles and especially not making assumptions. When faced with a particularly difficult communication situation, rehearsing in advance your strategy to handle responses from others, based on the possible best responses and worst responses help you prepare for any eventuality.
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