When was the last time yo got into an argument with someone and it felt like you were going around in circles? You were saying exactly what they did wrong and they. just. don’t. listen.! Frustration builds, tempers flair, and yet another argument. This isn’t what anyone really wants, but how can you change this?
The previous post looked at the importance of understanding what we need to say, and knowing the message is critical to clear communication. But there is more. Were you ever having a good day but people thought you were upset or irritated? That’s because the way we communicate can change the meaning of what is being said. Consider the phrase: “Sure, I’m great!”. This can mean the speaker is doing well, or horrible. The tone and body language of the speaker helps others know what is meant.
When you were a child, did you ever start talking to your parents or a teaching like you talk to your friends? You probably got in trouble for it – or at least an angry glare. The types of words we choose to use impacts how the message we send is interpreted. Using too many long words can lose listeners, but meaning and credibility can be lost in using very simple wording.
So, imagine having a very important message to tell your significant other, but using the wrong tone, body language, and type of wording. How well will that go over? Yeah, probably not well. Being intentional with the words we use, tone of our voice, and body language when we convey our message to others can make or break the discussion. This is even more important for emotionally charged situations.
Stay tuned for ways that we listen can impact – for better or worse – the conversation in parts 3 and 4.
If you would like more information on communication or to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact me.
MA, ICAADC, CCPG, DOT-SAP, LPC
TBHI Certified Telebehavioral Health Practitioner