The Art of Communication

The Art of Communication

As social creatures, we are meant to communicate with others through our words, body language, eye contact and tone. However, sometimes the way we communicate can cause a variety of issues in how we connect with others. Learning how to effectively communicate can help maintain healthy relationships and keep them strong over time. Here are some tips for cultivating a culture of open, honest and kind communication: 

Clarify Your Feelings 

Begin by identifying the feelings that you have about the issue at hand. It is important to acknowledge your own feelings in order to communicate them effectively. 

Listen Carefully

Give the other person the opportunity to explain their perspective on the situation. Listen carefully and do not interrupt. 

Set Ground Rules 

Establish ground rules before any discussion takes place, such as no name calling, no personal attacks and permission to pause when things feel to intense. As part of creating safety and building trust, be sure to let the other person know when you will return to the conversation. 

Be Respectful 

Speak in a respectful manner. Avoid blaming or attacking others; instead, focus on finding solutions to the problem by sharing how you feel and asking for what you want or need in a calm, respectful tone. 

Acknowledge Each Other 

Remember, the person you are communicating with is a human being having their own personal experience separate from yours. Take turns acknowledging each other's feelings and perspectives. This will help each person feel heard and understood. 

Find Compromise

Work together to come up with a solution that both parties can agree on. Keep an open mind and be open to what you can live with instead of being attached to your ideal outcome.

Follow Through 

This is an important one that often slips, but is required in order to build and maintain trust in your relationship. After a solution is agreed upon, follow through with any commitments made during the discussion and take action if needed.