For this weeks challenge of simplifying March, I would like to give you a few ideas of how to help bring peace and clarity to relationships. These aren't easy, but nothing good in life is easy. We have to go through the hard to have the good.
*Most of the time, something you do not like in someone else, is something you do not like about yourself. Before going off on someone else, take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, is this something I do? Fix it in yourself first.
*Take time to listen to your spouse, parents, kids, friends. Listen to hear them not to respond. There is a technique in coaching we use called reflective listening. There are many forms this takes, at it's simplest, it is repeating back to the person what you heard them say. Example:
You to friend: How are you today?
Friend: I am struggling today. The kids are going crazy not wanting to listen, the toddler stages. I have to tell them 10 times every morning to do their takes. I am a stuck record.
You: You are struggling today because you are a stuck record with the kids telling them to do the same thing 10 times a day?
Can you imagine how your friend would feel heard if you responded this way instead of after asking the question, how are you, you go on about whatever you wanted to talk about not paying any attention to what they said? Imagine how things could be different with your spouse hearing them this way.
*Be present. Stop thinking about the other things you need to do, what has happened in your day, racing in your thoughts, whatever it is. Reflective listening helps with this.
*Communicate more thoroughly. Those around you are not in your head listening to the conversation you are having with yourself. Beginning the conversation with them in the middle leaves them lost and no clue what you are saying. Start from the beginning. Don't leave out important details. But don't go on and on telling someone every little things either.
*Don't assume someone knows what you are talking about or understands what you meant. On that same token, as the listener don't assume you know what they are talking about or meant. To many disagreements happen because one or both parties assume and they are wrong. Clarify. Saves a lot of heart ache, hard feelings and ended relationships over misunderstandings.
What are some of your tips for helping communication with others?
All my love