Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Am I Communicating?

I have noticed that since I have been writing this blog my communication skills have improved. Now that I wrote that statement and look at it I have to ask myself, is it really true? Have my communication skills improved or am I imagining that they have? How do I verify whether they have improved or not.?

First of all communication of ideas is very difficult. Communication of facts and basic information necessary for day to day survival is much easier. Most people are decent at getting through each day and doing what is necessary to take care of themselves and their family. They are not as good at expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings. I believe that expressing my thoughts without censorship or wondering or worrying how they will be received has enabled me to practice at being more clear. This practice has improved my overall communication.

Success in business or relationships is enhanced by better communication skills. Many people assume that successful communication is about convincing others that their ideas or viewpoints are correct. I don't agree that this is the highest or the most effective way to communicate. It seems to me that what is more important is to be able to sincerely state what you believe to be true. Once you have become skilled at communicating what you believe is true you can work on improving your ability to deliver your truth in a kinder and gentler way.

What hinders our communication at times is our desire to be polite or not hurt someone's feelings. Political correctness oftentimes results in mixed messages and lack of real communication. We tell people what they want to hear or what we assume will present ourselves in the most favorable light rather than what we really believe. Some of us have never had a real conversation in our lives.

We are constantly being told that the most important part of communication is listening. Listening is important but the listening must be done in a special way to have real value. You can't just evaluate the words that are being spoken but must look beyond the words and try to glimpse the real intent.

In order to listen you can't be concerned with what you want to say next or allow yourself to be impacted by the words that are being spoken to you. This requires real effort, objectivity, and non-attachment. Although listening is important you can't control what others say, you can only control how you respond. Your response is both how you are impacted by what is said and what you say in return.

I can't verify for sure whether I am communicating better or not. I can only continue to work at it.

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