I think a lot about communication - It may sound trivial at first, but where would we be without it?
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." - Mark Twain
It is not always just about the spoken word - which should not be underestimated. But it is also about facial expressions, gestures and what is not spoken - the infamous non-verbal communication. With the mask mandates all around a lot of that is unfortunately getting lost - especially for children. And yet there is one form of communication that is universal.
Have you ever noticed how your mood changes when you laugh with people or even just hear them laughing? Have you ever noticed how much easier communication becomes when you manage to break the ice when you can laugh with someone? Everything becomes somehow easier when you laugh!
For me laughter, especially childrens laughter has always been the most beautiful sound on earth and it is absolutely contagious. And this is what I am talking about…
“Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone; For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own.” - Ella Wheeler Wilcox
What else can we consider when communicating with others?
People who know me personally know that I really love to talk (al lot) and I will be the first to admit that no everything coming out of my mouth is gold. But I do have a huge amount of empathy and I am genuinely interested in people - which is a great asset in my work as an iEQ9 Enneagram Practitioner.
If you would like to connect with me I would be happy to take the time for a speed coaching call that you can reserve right here or go directly to my website.
I like things to be as simple as possible, so I would like to give a short guideline or some ideas if you like, for a way to think about communication, especially when it is important to you. I must state that I did not come up with these but I would like to give you my personal short and simple interpretation of them. I am talking about the
Message - what is said
Matter - does it matter
Method - how is the message delivered
Moment - is it the right moment
Let's begin with the Message:
ever so often we get caught up in what we want to say. We sort of know what it is but have no real idea how to verbalise it. So why not either write it down first or even say it out loud - no worries, talking to yourself is alright als long as you don't expect a reply. Start worrying though when you do start hearing replies.
This brings us to the second 'M', Matter
This may actually be the most important one. We are more often than not, stuck in our heads. So when you know what the message is to be then it is great to dive in a bit deeper and check the facts. Is your message of real relevance? How much of what you want to say is happening in the real world and how much is just taking place in your own head. When you have sorted that out and have found that it does matter (does it really, perhaps check again to be sure), then proceed to the next 'M'.
how a message is delivered has a great influence on the outcome of a conversation. It can be the difference between a constructive conversation or an enormous fight (or anything in between). You most likely know the person you want to talk to and finding the right approach is key. Some people need the full monty, honest and even brutal and others might need some more sugar coating or diplomacy. We usually know quite well how we can trigger people we know well but we should avoid abusing this knowledge to manipulate someone. At the end of the day, whether sugar coated or not, being honest and fair is usually the best way to go.
Only one 'M' to go now, the Moment
Timing is everything! I know how hard it is to hold back when you feel you have a pressing matter you want to desperately talk about. But really consider the options. If you say it in the absolute wrong moment it may all be in vain. Is there ever a perfect moment? No, hardly ever! There are really bad moments though and you should try to avoid those - for example when your partner comes home from work after having had a really awful day and is in a foul spirit. Chances of a fight are very high. On the other hand, when you find that good (or at least better) moment, you may actually be able to resolve your issue.
One thing though we should always consider when we communicate with others is that we tend to sometimes forget that the other person may not share our experiences and will have a completely different perception of what has been said - the sender vs. recipient issue. The best way to resolve or avoid this, I have found. is to ask questions. One of the best (and sometimes most unnerving) questions being: “Have I understood you correctly that…?”, or “Did you mean…?”. We often not dare ask these questions, that could clarify or avoid most misunderstandings because we are afraid to appear stupid. Not asking is probably not the brightest way to deal with misunderstandings.
I know this all may be nothing new, it may not be fancy or even innovative, but sometimes it helps to be reminded of a possible approach to communicating in a more constructive and healthy way... And if all else fails - LAUGH!
🎶My Song of the Week
We are so easily misunderstood…
📚My Poem of the Week
I chose a poem by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) whose poems were published after her death. Her poems are numbered or named by the first line.
#1510 or How Happy Is The Little Stone
How happy is the little Stone
That rambles in the Road alone,
And doesn't care about Careers
And Exigencies never fears—
Whose Coat of elemental Brown
A passing Universe put on,
And independent as the Sun
Associates or glows alone,
Fulfilling absolute Decree
In casual simplicity—
I would like to leave you with a photo of one of my favourite go to places at Lake Starnberg
Wishing you a happy weekend with a lot of laughter!
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