I was with a group of friends the other day sharing experiences about different challenges that we are currently facing. In each case there was a unique relational challenge that was thrown into the mix. As we discussed possible solutions, communication seemed to keep resurfacing over and over again. Here are a few thoughts about effective communication:
- When something is bothering you, it is always best to bring it up. The other person has plenty of problems of their own, which means there is a good chance they are not aware of what specifically is bothering you. Never assume someone else is a mind reader.
- When communicating an issue, always be respectful. You want to avoid a “Defensive” response. Once defense mode kicks in the conversation is over.
- Make sure you actually listen to what the other person is saying, rather than just repeating yourself. If you become aware, you will notice that most arguments consist of each side repeating their point over and over, getting louder with each round.
- Be solution oriented, searching for a true win/win. Any real solution will require a little give from both sides.
“When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?" Max Lucado
The only thing that separates us from others is our unique set of experiences and the relationships that we share those experiences with. I encourage you to think about effective communication to make the most out of each relationship that you have.