Better Communication in Seconds

better communication

Better Communication is huge! Poor communication is not only one of the top reasons relationships end, addressing it can help to heal all the other reasons.

When you think of poor communication, you might think about the silent treatment or secret-keeping. In reality, it can be much more subtle and hard to recognize—particularly when you consider that communication skills are rarely taught in schools or in business settings.

better communication

Our communication skills as adults are often products of what we experienced as children. You might feel afraid to communicate your feelings because you were reprimanded or judged when you were young. Maybe you were told to shut up, or made to feel that what you have to say doesn’t matter. Regardless of how your communication skills were shaped, communication problems can manifest in a number of ways…everything from staying silent, to agreeing (even when you don’t), to talking over people and dominating the conversation, to making assumptions, to feeling powerless and without a voice.

Does this sound like you? Do you have trouble being heard or feeling complete in communication? Or do you find others avoiding conversation with you, because maybe they feel you aren’t a good listener?

No matter what communication challenges you may be experiencing (or even if you don’t think there’s a problem), you can improve your communications in a matter of seconds, with one simple guideline. All of your relationships will benefit from Being Present and Actively Listening, and you can start right now.

The Core of Better Communication

As always, the best place to start is at the beginning. And when it comes to better communication, the beginning is you. We must all take responsibility for our own actions, thoughts, feelings and beliefs…and that includes how we communicate.

So with a focus on you, start to work on being present in every communication.

Here’s how:

Be Present

Any time you want to make a change, your point of power is in the present. You cannot change the past or the future, only what’s happening right now. This is especially important when it comes to better communication, because you must focus on the present point in time, as well as be fully present in mind, body and spirit every time you’re in conversation with someone. The results are immediate. You will begin to feel a deeper connection within seconds of shifting your focus to the present moment.

There are a number of things that can keep you from being fully present during communication. Here are a number of them (and ways you can remedy each one):

  • The mind might wander, but remember that you cannot be fully present unless you’re completely focused on what the other person is saying.
  • Preparing comebacks while someone else is talking blocks the ability to fully grasp the depth of their feelings. Assuming you know what they’re about to say, or thinking you’ve heard it all, can be toxic to communication. Listen, empathize, then respond.
  • Labeling people, or judging them before they speak, can result in tuning them out and not caring about what they have to say. In this case, they will not be heard. Save your responses for after the content of their full message is received; that way you can be fully present while they speak.
  • Making comparisons—like thinking about who’s smarter or more competent, or about who’s suffered greater hardships, or wondering who could do something better—can be distracting. These types of comparisons block the absorption of essential information.
  • Trying to be a mind-reader can distract someone from the words that people are speaking. Looking for a mystery to solve, or attempting to figure out what a person is really feeling through subtle communication cues (like tone and body language), but ignoring their words, hinders the ability to really hear them.
  • When someone picks and chooses what they want to listen to, they might listen just long enough to learn if someone is angry with them, feel relief that they aren’t, and then tune them out. Or, if there is fear of criticism, that criticism might be blocked, resulting in the person having no memory of hearing it.
  • Irrelevant referring, or identifying, can also be a problem. This happens when someone takes everything another says, applies it to their own knowledge, and launches into their own story, even before the other person has finished telling theirs. If you flip what another person is telling you and view it through your own filter, empathy can be out of reach.
  • Problem-solvers might jump straight into giving advice, before allowing time to truly absorb how someone might feel about a situation. This will cause frustration on the part of the person who has shared their story, and they may feel alone and unheard or misunderstood.
  • If someone only looks for things to disagree with, it can cause conversations to turn into sparring matches. Instead, focus on finding common ground, and then listen to other opinions without invalidating them.
  • Where there’s a tendency to put people down with sarcastic remarks, in order to avoid uncomfortable conversations or to show disagreement, communication is blocked. Break this cycle with a Pattern Interrupt. This is a word you choose together, in advance, that will make both of you laugh. When either one feels that communication is going south, say “the word” and everyone stops talking. Go to your “corners” and take ten deep breaths. Come back together, and the one who called out the Pattern Interrupt word starts with “What I feel like saying is…” The other person remains silent until the speaker says, “I am complete for now.” Then the roles reverse, so both people have the chance to speak, uninterrupted.

Being present is the foundation of better communication. However, it’s not the end.

The next time we meet here, you’ll be learning about three more steps for better communication, for the deepening of relationships of all types. So for now, work on always being present and really listening and absorbing what people are saying to you. Feel the shift to better communication (within seconds). Then pop in at to claim your FREE course and to learn a bit about what it takes to be a conscious leader. And don’t forget to check out upcoming dates for the Essence of Communication One-Day Events, including Livestream Access.