Around six years ago I was going through a particularly rough time in my relationship. One of the biggest hurdles we faced was our inability to communicate well with one another. Previously when we had an argument it would end in a stalemate with neither side will to concede. We would eventually let time run its course and move on with resolving the issue or discussing further until the next argument where we would repeat the pattern. This led to us no longer communicating things that were bothering us because it would serve no purpose.
After years of this it reached a breaking point on the overall health of our relationship. In an effort to change how I interacted with people I began reading lots of books on cognitive behavioral therapy and communications. There was one particular book that still stands out and that I recommend to people.
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg
I’m not going to go into the details of the book as I view as an essential read for anyone that has problems communicating with others. It did open my eyes (and ears) to the concept of mindful (or active) listening which was something I knew nothing about previously.
I grew up in a very emotional repressed household so having open and honest dialog wasn’t something I had ever been exposed to. Growing up we mimc what we see and being in a single parent household with my father and brother all I saw was that being sensitive was a sign of weakness. I have a feeling there are many of people just like me in the world and we have all suffered through or contributed to relationships that could have been much better and healthier.
While no one likes to go through a “rough patch” in a relationship sometimes it can be a blessing if you can learn and grow from it. I won’t say I am the best communicator in the world during conflict but I can recognize when I’ve gone off track and can usually right the train before things get out of hand. I can say that I am much better when it comes to listening to others in general and find that it really helps build my relationships with them.
Whether it be in your personal relationships or in the workplace, there are many benefits from being able to communicate well. The ability to be a good listener can be much more important than being an effective speaker when it comes to interacting with others.
“Mindful Listening” is the topic for this weeks free 45 minute “Thursday Coffee” discussion (8:30 a.m. EST). Send an email to email@example.com if you would like to register. If you would rather have a one on one conversation you can sign up for a free consultations on meatitate.com
Originally posted on meatitate.com