We need to communicate with people every day unless we live in complete solitude. Depending on the circumstances, it might be something we do on a regular basis. I’m curious how present some of us are throughout these interactions. While it is impossible to be fully present all of the time, mindful communication methods will guarantee that things flow smoothly and conflict management is exercised effectively. Let’s look at how communication usually works as a process:
The graphic depicts the regular flow of communication from the sender to the recipient, as well as the phases in between. It begins with the communication’s source or originator and the message they want to communicate. The message is built and encoded in a manner that the recipient understands but is communicated via verbal and non-verbal communication. The message’s delivery is critical, as is the manner in which it is given, taking into consideration aural, visual, and kinesthetic components. When the receiver gets the message, it is encoded and processed, and eventually becomes a message when the recipient responds with feedback to the source, thus closing the loop.
As one might expect, there are numerous factors that can influence the process as it progresses through the named stages to completion. The source putting the message together may not be able to do it in a functioning fashion, and it may be given in such a way that the receiver misinterprets it. For whatever reason, the receiver may be unable to comprehend the message, and the response provided may be based on misunderstanding. Internal concerns such as thoughts, feelings, triggers, fears, assumptions, personality, upbringing, and culture are some of the most typical reasons for the process not functioning. External circumstances such as the situation, location, and the presence of others may also impede communication.
Ineffective communication may result in a lack of trust, anger, irritation, unpleasant emotions, and negative body language, to mention a few. Many relationships are harmed by inadequate communication skills, and the relationship will suffer as a result. Couples often feel compelled to “win” a dispute, and if there is a winner, there must also be a loser. In reality, the relationship itself is the loser, as the pair employs a combination of passive, passive aggressive, and overtly hostile strategies to gain or keep control. Effective communication skills, on the other hand, may be acquired at any age, and a lack of understanding can never be used to justify inefficient communication patterns.
Particularly crucial in all settings is the ability to communicate mindfully, which is essential for maintaining healthy relationships. According to Carroll (2006) and Doyle (2019), these are some examples:
Active Listening: involves paying attentive attention to what the other person is saying, taking note of both verbal and nonverbal cues, maintaining eye contact when appropriate, expressing empathy, and asking clarifying questions, among other things. Distractions should be avoided, queries should be rephrased and clarified, solutions should not be sought immediately, and patience should be exercised.
Clarity: When communicating mindfully, it is important to say just enough (not too little or too much). Effective communication typically entails communicating clearly and concisely, saying what needs to be said in as few words as possible. “Rambling” may cause the receiver to stop listening or become confused about what you’re trying to say. To avoid confusing or tiring your receiver, think about what you want to say ahead of time when communicating with clarity and concision.
Friendliness: By using a friendly tone, personal questions (when appropriate), smiling, and open body language, you show that you are personable and approachable to those with whom you are communicating.
Open-Minded: Effective communicators approach talks with an open and flexible mind. They pay attention to other people’s points of view, even when they disagree with them, and they do not concentrate solely on presenting their own point of view to the audience. As a result, honest and fruitful dialogues can take place.
Respect: Simple behaviors (such as using a person’s name, making eye contact, and attentively listening to them) can be used to communicate respect in all discussions. Distractions should be avoided when conversing with someone (whether in person or over the phone). Maintain concentration throughout the conversation.
Feedback: The capacity to provide and receive feedback is a critical communication skill that everyone should have. Both positive and constructive feedback are included in the process of providing feedback to others. The ability to receive feedback is also an important communication skill. Respectfully taking in and acting on feedback, asking clarifying questions (especially if you are unclear of an issue), and making efforts to put the input into action all contribute to the development of trust and rapport between people.
Mode of communication: The mode of communication chosen to deliver a message can have a significant impact on how the message is received by the recipient. In contrast to short messages that can be sent via email or text, significant conversations are best conducted in person when necessary. People value smart forms of communication and are more likely to respond positively to them if they are delivered in a thoughtful manner.
Thoughtful communication techniques and ideas are essential to cultivating healthy and supportive relationships. It’s our need to be heard and understood that drives us all onward. In order to be heard and understood, we sometimes have to first hear and comprehend the other person.