Focus & Listen

Have you ever had trouble communicating with another person? Can you read body language and can you empathize? Have you experienced misunderstandings? Do you have difficulty expressing yourself? If you’ve experienced any such things, how have they contributed to other problems?

Whether or not you’ve been bothered by these or any other communication problems, please keep reading. You might glean at least one tip that could improve the quality of your relationships.

The next time you find yourself disagreeing about something that matters, and you sense an argument coming on, simply notice what your mind is doing while the other person is talking. Is your mind quiet and attentive? Is your mind trying to figure out what the other person means? Do you tend to react with impulsive negativity? Do you feel the need to interrupt? Do your emotions take control of you? Do you prepare your answer? Does your mind wander? Does it blank out?

Also, while the other person is talking, notice what you feel physically. Do you become tense? Do you hold your breath? Do you feel agitated or hot? Do you get a knot in your stomach, or feel tension in your back, shoulders, neck or head?

All of these are warning signs. They are signaling us that we have a bad connection with the other person. Static. Interference. You know. The moment that occurs, communication has come to a halt. The only way to correct the problem is for you to be aware of what’s happening inside you, to acknowledge it to the other person, and to take a break for a specified time, promising to start talking again when you have regained your ability to focus. Fifteen minutes, three hours; however much time you need, to calm down. Knowing how to do this can make a huge difference. But simply reading this article may not be enough to help you use this skill.

I’ve been coaching people in communication and conflict resolution since 2002. If you’d like to know how to make use of this powerful tool, please call me. The number is 219-309-3928. I’d be honored to be of service.

Thanks for reading!