September 13, 2015

What is True Communication?

Here, just a minute, let me check my social-media notifications and e-mail, turn the stove off, make sure my cell phone battery has enough charge …Sound familiar? In a world of constant distractions, how many of us truly listen? By “truly listen”, I mean stopping what we’re doing, making eye contact, and physically facing our listener? These are some of the actions that show we care about what the speaker is sharing.

Why is focus important?

Effective communication is an actual connection of the souls, not just a system of trading superficial dialogue. It means that we’re actually absorbing what the other person/people are saying. We aren’t just thinking about our own response, or upcoming tasks.

What is True Communication?

A Google+ friend of mine wisely notes that conversation doesn’t merely consist of words. Conversation also involves body language and facial expressions. In fact, sometimes words can get in the way of the authentic feelings that we’re trying to communicate—or cover up. In brief, communication involves the whole body and soul.

An Example of the Need for Real Connections

A friend of mine teaches piano to young elementary-school students. Lessons are usually a half hour long. Rightly, she says that this half hour is the longest that some of these students actually have an adult present adding value to them by giving up their time for them. (Isn’t time one of our most valuable commodities these days?)

Sure, she gets paid, but not as much as some professionals. You don’t usually expect to get rich teaching piano.

My Conclusion

We live in an increasingly fast-paced world with constant, multiple distractions—if we allow them in. This is no news. Face-to-face, direct communication is a rare commodity in many cases. However, actually “being present” during conversations is a gift of self that we can give to each other. It is the top way to add value to another person.

How have you added value to someone by truly listening today?

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