Be a better communicator
Strategies to help you through the most difficult communication environments and instances.
This subject is a tough one to talk about because I do believe that in most instances we can solve many issues with strategic, effective communication. BUT, there will be times when you come across situations or people and you reach a communication stalemate. In my life, I’ve found this occurs for two reasons, either I’m dealing with someone who is just not listening or I’m working with someone who has a narrow view and doesn’t seem interested in trying to see anything from another perspective.
So before I move forward in any more communication – I ask myself:
- is there another avenue I can take to address this issue?
- Should I be talking to someone else if this is someone I work with?
- Do I have to even engage with this person?
- Do I care enough to push the issue forward?
- Is this a relationship I should be pursuing?
- And last but MOST important – am I the person not listening? Am I the one who can’t see something from this person’s point of view?
A lot of the time, a boldly honest answer to that last question requires me to re-calibrate, apologize, put my foot in my mouth – whatever you want to call it and try again to come from a more gentle, empathetic view to the conversation or situation at hand. SOME conversations are not easy, pleasant or happy – BUT we have to have them and we have to admit to being wrong. Sometimes we have to walk into a conversation knowing it’s totally okay to disagree and to be okay with someone judging us. I don’t think we can get to open, honest conversation any other way.
BUT, if you do feel that you’ve exhausted all other resources and you just can’t communicate with someone, I think you do need to accept that for what it is. Examine the conversation or conversations and be HONEST with yourself about miss-steps and work on it. You can only control you, and we all screw up sometimes, but knowing where strengths and weaknesses are help us to work on both and to seek help or advice or insight – which is out there.
I do think that is unacceptable not be growing in communication skills wherever you are. And that being super honest about strengths, weaknesses, and where we want to go, what we want to do can help us adjust or seek out the challenges we need to push ourselves and to grow.