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Posts Tagged: listening

Of Course I’m Listening: 5 Tips for Better Communication

Every day I observe the difficulties people have in communicating with one another.

We struggle to listen with the purpose of understanding.

We jump to conclusions instead of getting the whole picture.

We often don’t consider what may be happening in the other person’s life that might make it difficult for them to ask for what they want or need or share what they are experiencing.

We all struggle to understand where the other person is coming from and to share our own needs and wants.

Good relationships require honest listening. Today on my podcast and blog, I’ll show you 5 ways to improve your listening skills.

The Art of Relaxed Conversation

Have you ever sat down with an elderly parent and tried to have a conversation?

It can be difficult to find common things to talk about, because both of you are in a different world space. Most often what is needed is the art of listening. But it also requires knowing how to start a conversation.  

Today on my blog and podcast, we’ll discuss the art of relaxed conversation.

Communication Basics

Communication breakdown is nothing new.

How often are the messages we send received with the same objective we had in mind? How often do we hear something other than what was intended?

Our messages go through a filtering system that can color and distort. We speak and hear from our own experiences, from how we feel in the moment, from our perceptions, and from our interpretations of life.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll help you develop your skills of listening, validating, and providing feedback, so you can become a more effective communicator.

12 Ways to Promote Good Communication

12 Ways to Promote Good Communication | focuswithmarlene.com

Communication is a skill that is learned and developed over time. When we recognize what isn’t working, we can replace it with something that will work.

We communicate all the time. We cannot not communicate. With our facial gestures, postures, words, or attempts to change the other person, we need to know how to become the type of communicator who respects ourselves and others.

Knowing yourself is vital in becoming a good communicator.

You need to know what triggers your stress buttons or emotional upsets, your fears of being hurt or looking stupid. Finding ways of dealing with adversity are often hidden from you until you are willing to accept yourself unconditionally, with both the good and the bad. When you feel okay to face your vulnerabilities you are taking charge of your interactions and your life, and that is reflected in your conversations.

That’s Not What I Meant: 6 Tips to Improve Your Communication

That’s Not What I Meant | focuswithmarlene.com

“But you said. . . ”
“No, I didn’t. . . ”
“Yes, I heard you say. . . ”
“Well, that’s not what I meant!”

And so, it goes – round and round and round and we end up with two angry people who continue to find ways to attack, defend and destroy each other.

Anger builds as each continues to dig in their heels and insist they are right, and the other is wrong. You probably have had such conversations or have witnessed them. Discussions at this point soon move into the blame game:

“You always try to pin the blame on me. If you were here instead of out golfing, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“Oh, and how about you – out shopping again.”

The conversation has gone beyond misunderstanding and name calling.

Relationships Under Stress

Relationships Under Stress | focuswithmarlene.com

 So many things that contribute to high levels of stress in today’s world. Not having a job, home schooling while maintaining a job, unexpected financial concerns, trimming our budgets to bare bones, travel restrictions, and the inability to enjoy social functions, are but a few.

When the cares of the day max our ability to cope, we find that those high levels of stress can make it harder to maintain positive relationships.

We know that anxiety levels can dramatically rise as optimism flies out the window and worry about our future takes over. Anger, guilt, and shame are quickly activated. Learning to calm ourselves through slow, even breathing whenever stress levels rise is imperative.

That’s Not What I Meant! 12 Ways to Become a Better Communicator

That’s Not What I Meant! | FocusWithMarlene.com

We communicate every day in some way: texting, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, etc.

But that is not the same as talking to a person face-to-face, where we can see facial expression, have a discussion about difficult issues, and ask for clarification.

What are you saying and what is being heard?

“But you said. . . .”

“No, I didn’t. . . .”

“Yes, I heard you say. . . . .”

“Well, that’s not what I meant!”

Sound familiar?