Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.
Listening, really listening to someone is hard work.
Communication that is clear and precise…..also hard, hard work.
To be a good listener you have to put aside your personal agenda, feelings and thoughts and tune into that of another.. It is a truly selfless act.
To be a good communicator who have to be in tune with your true self, your thoughts and feeling. You must also be ‘present’….your mind cannot be in the past or propelling into the future…it must be grounded in the here and now.
This blog post has been written so as to honour all the good listeners and communicator out there….You guys don’t get enough credit!
I am first to admit that I am new to truly listening to the voice of another….For so long I have lived in my head, listening to my own internal dialogue which drowned out the voice of others.
I was so consumed by my inner thoughts, that I could be in a room full of familiar faces, and actively engage in two conversation, one with party guests, the other with the internal chatter in my head.
Crucial to the art of listening to another person, is clear communication. Like the listening notion, I am just jumping on the good communication bandwagon!
I got frustrated on the weekend when, via email communication ( the worst of all mediums!) I felt I was not being listened to or understood. I let the person know, they took my point with a grain of salt…it was an unsatisfying exchange.
It caused me to reflect…In order to be truly heard, you must be able to clearly communicate your thoughts and feelings.
Easier said than done.
Often extreme feelings get in the way, how often have you blown of steam in the heat of an argument with a partner, lost your cool with your small child when they did something you did not approve of, given a friend the cold shoulder when they failed for the third time to show up for a coffee date?
For me, my communication skills have long been hindered by an inability to tune into my true voice. For as long as I can remember, I have not possessed the courage to express my true thoughts and feeling.
But with awareness comes change.
The email exchange on the weekend, and its unsatisfactory outcome, was more a true reflection of poor communication on my part. I was not clear in how I was truly feeling…I assumed the person would be able to read between the lines…And when they didn’t ‘ get it’ I expressed my disappointment and frustration.
It really bothered me! And after a bit of self reflection and the passing of time, I came to see this email exchange as a gift.
It highlighted the importance of honest communication, using words that truly reflect how you think and feel….Don’t waste words…Choose them wisely a ( again easier said than done)…and when possible, think before you speak, ask yourself ‘ Do these words reflect what I am thinking / feeling?’
Good listening and communication are skills…and we can learn them, improve on the skills we already have…it is possible with practice, patience and commitment.
So why not try it for yourself…Grab a friend, someone in your life who simply gets you….start up that conversation…chew the fat over a cup of tea or coffee…And take time to notice how it feels to converse and listen to one another.
Rewarding, satisfying, frustrating….All of the above? Room for improvement, for growth?? Any tips you can offer me on my journey towards better listening / communicating?
No times for regrets, such as if only I could have started that email exchange with a bit more honestly…Here’s to next time, and the time after that!!