Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Effective Communication

I wrote a blog recently about the fact that humans are frustrating. My biggest complaint is closed-minded people who refuse to respectfully dialogue.

I have recently had run-ins with people who were very unwilling to listen. Every time I shared my perspective, they closed their ears and focused on what they were going to say next. No matter what approach I took, no matter how much common ground I pointed out, no matter what I said, these closed-minded individuals did nothing but hurl insults, stonewall and repeat their same points over and over. In the end, I had to just accept that ignorance cannot be changed and chose to walk away.

It is very disappointing to have such a negative end result. The older I get, the more willing I am to listen. The more experienced I am, the more willing I am to learn from others’ experiences. The more I learn about the human condition, the more I realize how much I really do not know.

It is frustrating to me that it is impossible to explain to a know-it-all that s/he really does not know shit. It makes me sad that it is impossible to help a close-minded individual see how asinine their communication skills are. It is also frustrating that idiocy cannot be battled with logic.

As though my blog was a prayer from my lips to God’s ears, I think I have found the “cure” for other peoples’ inability to respectfully communicate. Not that I expect any of the people who bug me to actually read this, but I have at least found a solution to offer them when I have hit a brick wall.

I have been reading a very insightful book called "How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about it,” by Pat Love and Steve Stosny. Though the book often references marriage when discussing the communication break-downs it claims to solve, all of the information is applicable to most relationships.

As I have said before in my other articles discussing this book, the background information about how males and females communicate and the principles for how to effectively dialogue in a respectful and productive manner are applicable in every conversation we have.

Each day, you might communicate with a family member, a friend, a significant other, a co-worker and/or one of your children.

Understanding where their perspectives originate from can greatly improve your ability to communicate effectively. (For more information, see How to Improve Your Communication WITHOUT Talking.)

Developing compassion for their perspective will help you to create an atmosphere that encourages productive dialogue.

Conducting yourself in a manner that is true to your values can only serve to improve your self-value and result in a willingness to value other people, too.

Developing the skill of “binocular vision” will give you an intuitive sense of how to improve your relationship without talking about it. (To learn about binocular vision, see "Effective Communication Requires Binocular Vision.")

Understanding communication and practicing the strategies offered in this book will (hopefully) encourage your co-communicator to act in kind.

Related blogs you may find interesting:
Feb 5 2007
Sept 6 2007
Apr 24 2008

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