Communication is more than just talking. If the person you’re speaking to does not understand you, you’re speaking into the air and wasting words. How much sense does that make? Make what you say pull the person in closer to you; not push further away from you.
Part of communicating is talking. But that’s only part. A huge part is listening; which many people miss out on. An even greater part is speaking in such a way that what you’re saying is clear to the hearer and that the words are understood. Often words are shared and not understood. So, what sense does it make to talk with no meaning to the person in which you’re speaking to?
As a therapist and coach, I am trained to listen by trade. It also happens to be one of my gifts. I enjoy listening to people and when I do, they enjoy sharing. Often, people are so into themselves that they tend to do more talking than listening; but it also happens to be what people are in most need of–being listened to.
Who wants to talk and feel like their words are hitting deaf ears? Nobody! That’s the purpose of opening your mouth; so that you’re heard, and understood. While there is a difference between being heard, listened to, and understood, it’s a great thing when you can achieve all three when speaking to anyone. It’s a lot easier to achieve this when speaking to an individual than it is to a group. Why? Because, when talking to an individual, you can ask clarifying questions to make sure they get you. Whereas with a group, even while trying your best, you may not always have the opportunity to make sure everyone understands.
What you can do to help with this is to make sure your message is as clear to you as it can be. Try asking yourself or saying to yourself what you want to say to an individual. Is it clear? Do you understand what you mean with the words you use? Is it shared in such a way that it makes the person want to lean in closer to really listen? How would you feel if the same words were spoken to you?
These questions will help you to move forward in your conversation, change what you were going to say, or scratch it altogether. Try it the next time you have something to share, especially with your spouse or intimate partner. This would also work well with anyone you’re very close to, or in a relationship that is important to you (family, close friend, etc.). It can definitely help you grow closer.
Isn’t this what growing and empowering your relationship is all about? This happens when your communication is open, clear and intentional. It’s the piece that connects you to be even closer. Try it and let me know how it works for you.
If you need support in this, reach out and connect with me below.