Over and over we see conflict arise from communication breakdowns, whether it’s between couples, co-workers, families and even countries. Although some communication breakdowns are intentional, most of what we say is unconscious and from poor habits we learned from others.
In working to understand my own communication dynamics, plus by watching countless couples and business teams speak to each other, it seems to always comes down to relinquishing blame, stopping assumptions and learning new tools for healthy relating: active listening, negotiating with an eye for win-win compromise, compassion for your partner’s triggers or weaknesses (as well as for your own), and good old fashioned truth telling.
In relationships we are always at a choice point. When you make a decision to take responsibility for your part in any relationship, always remember this one key question to ask yourself : Do I want to win and prove my point, or do I want to develop a deeper connection and grow closer to him/her? In every communication session I do, I constantly find myself saying, “Ok now the ball is in your court. You can respond by saying something to be right that will pour gasoline on the flames and escalate the conflict or you can say something that will show the other(s) that you are interested in truth and closeness only.” Being clear on your intention for communicating with another is first and foremost.
The following series of questions is designed to help you discover and decipher your particular communication style when it comes to relating to others.
Having examined your level of awareness in your communications with others, do you see patterns you would like to change? Do you have a clear sense of situations where you are generally inhibited, uneasy or passive; or where you are relatively confident, uninhibited and dynamic? Do you see “stuck” places you would like to move beyond?
Enjoy healthier communications and take heed of the words of Led Zeppelin. Communication breakdown, It's always the same. I'm having a nervous breakdown. Drive me insane.