Communicating constructively is not always easy. Even when we have the best intentions, we are not able to express them in a positive way that would inspire and engage the other. We all need to sharpen our communication skills, so that our relationships are enjoyable and fruitful. When we are honest with ourselves, in the silent moments, we recognize that life without positive relationships is empty, cold, and barren.
One of the most important areas of our lives is our work. We spend a major part of our day relating, creating, and cooperating with our co-workers. Our interactions with them can make a huge difference in our productivity, creativity, and daily enjoyment.
Investing in positive relating yields the highest emotional and practical return. If you want your work life to be effective, enjoyable, and passionate, you need to cultivate your relationships in the workplace.
One of the most important elements in cultivating positive relationships is communication. Most of us struggle to find our voice, sometimes it’s because we are too scared to speak from our heart, at times we don’t know what the heart wants, and at other times we get stuck in our pride and defensiveness.
Positive communication is the most nourishing and life affirming exchange. It is the spiritual currency that makes the world go round. I would like to suggest the following ten-commandments to help you communicate better, whether we are dealing with co-workers, parents, friends, or mates:
- Know yourself.
Find out how you feel, what you need, and what you believe in, so that you can communicate.
- Commit to creating connections.
Take responsibility for the success of your communications. Be the cause, the initiator, and the giver.
- Avoid reactivity.
When faced with strong emotions and intense reactions, take a minute to figure yourself out. Clear your mind and strive to create a constructive way to communicate.
- Cultivate empathic listening.
Extend that to yourself and others. Empathy helps you understand and accept. It enhances transformation and change.
- Be clear.
Be authentic and expressive and use the 4 “Magic I’s”: I think, I feel, I need, I want. When you communicate with another, express your feelings rather than pointing the finger. Avoid blaming, dumping, judging, or telling others what to do.
- Show appreciation.
Do whatever you can to validate your partners. Use listening and mirroring skills to show respect and consideration, at the same time, you can still maintain your beliefs. One has nothing to do with the other.
- Be reliable.
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Integrity cultivates mutual trust.
- Learn to negotiate.
Create win/win situations. It is best for all involved.
- Tap into your humor and playfulness.
Bring enjoyment into your communications.
- Let go of the need to be right, in control, or on top.
Having authority doesn’t mean we need to be controlling or righteous. Interpersonal connection and the exchange of understanding are so much more fulfilling and yield better results.
Communication is an art. Keep experimenting and go through the trials and tribulations. You will come to enjoy it. Isn’t that the goal – to be happy, open, and expressive?