How to communicate effectively

Have you ever said something to your loved one that made you turn around and kick yourself?  Or maybe it was a boss or someone you work with. You knew it was off because after you didn’t feel so good.

After thinking and thinking you realize you didn’t mean what you said. What really happened is you didn’t communicate effectively.

This almost always happens when we blame another for how we are feeling.

Like when I find myself stomping around the house because I feel overwhelmed with all I have to do and my husband comes home and sits down to relax and I think, why isn’t he helping me do the things I need to do. And then I say “WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING ME!”

It isn’t his fault that I feel overwhelmed.  It isn’t his fault that I am frustrated.  But I blame him as if it is.

We do this all of the time. We do it to the poor person behind the counter at Target when they are moving slowly and we are in a hurry.  We blame them for making us late.

Stop blaming while communicating.  It doesn’t soften situations, it exacerbates them.

Effective communication sounds way different.  If I am effectively communicating I would say, I know you have worked really hard today, thank you for that….and I am in need of some help. I am feeling super overwhelmed right now and I could use some help picking up the kids today.

Effective communication is one of the most important things we can do to live a successful happy life.  How we communicate with others is everything because it sets the stage for good relationships.  As you probably know, having good relationships makes life so much easier and enjoyable.

Words are not just words, they have energy behind them.  They have feeling and emotion.  Words can softens situations or they can exacerbate situations.

One of the best ways to soften a situation is to always, always communicate with clear intentions and never blame another for how YOU are feeling.

I have outlined several steps to effective communication to help you. This step by step process works for any form of communication with partners, children, your team, your boss, anyone.

Step 1: Set a clear intention.  First things first, before entering a conversation, decide what you want to get out of the conversation?

In my story, my intention is to receive help.

Step 2: Take time to understand the other’s intention.  Slip into their shoes and look at their life with total LOVE.

My husband worked all day and he is ready to come home and relax. He loves me and he wants to help me.

Step 3: Approach the conversation with how you view their intention.  This is really important because everyone needs to be seen and in this way you let them know that you see them.

I know you have worked really hard today and that you want to rest and relax.

Step 4: Show appreciation for him/her.  Again you are showing him/her that you see them.  You have taken the time to slip yourself into their shoes.

Thank you for working so hard for our family.

Step 5: State your feelings.  Stating how you feel allows others to enter into your state of being.  It gives them permission to see you.

I am feeling super overwhelmed right now.

Step 6: State your intention.  This is usually how we start a conversation but it needs to be how we end it.

I could use some help picking up the kids today.

Is there someone in your life that you have difficulty communicating with?  Does this strategy help you understand why that may be happening?  Let me know in the comments below.