Saturday, May 20, 2017

How to Communicate Well

Relationships are hard. No surprise in that, right? Sometimes figuring out how to maneuver through relationships means dialing in on the basics of communication.

Several years ago a co-worker taught me a formula (based on James 1:19) for improving communication. Ever since I have taught it to my students each semester as a way to summarize a semester of learning. The formula reads like this:

Q2L + S2S + S2A = GR8 COMMS
Translated: Quick to Listen + Slow to Speak + Slow To Anger = Great Communication

Q2L: Stop talking, or trying to decide what you will say next, and listen to others. Listen with your eyes, your ears, and your heart. Listen with empathy. Be in the moment.

S2S: Rushing to speak often gets us in trouble. Slow down and think about the impact your words might have on others. Choose wisely and choose to speak with compassion.

S2A: Anger overrides most other emotions. When we let anger take over, we stop listening and forget to have empathy. Recognizing our triggers and learning to stay in control can eliminate numerous relationship problems.

So that's the formula. If you are having a relationship problem, it could very well be one of these components is missing in your communication style. Focus on what you can control or change about yourself, rather than on the behavior of others. As you work to improve your own skill level, communication and interpersonal relationships will improve.

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