1a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.
Perception is huge. We all may interpret the same statement, idea, picture, taste, noise, or sight of things differently.
Initially, some rush to perceive things ultimately resulting in misunderstandings, miscommunication, and jumping to conclusions.
A majority of the time, we forget to focus on making major efforts to breakdown misinterpretations. We sometimes forget to seek clarity before getting upset. Neglecting to process information effectively could ultimately lead you to confusion. Eventually, doing this creates more complications than solutions.
I could not even begin to tell you how many times ineffective communication has affected my friendships, relationships, and unfortunately, even my business partnerships. Understanding that not everyone communicates in the same way is the first step in establishing new efforts to build clear communication techniques.
Receiving The Message
Communication is a two-way street, that involves sending and receiving information. So let’s start with the receiving end. Learning to listen to the other person’s message is key in receiving information. Trust me, there is a difference between hearing someone’s message, and actually listening to what they have to say. A lot of the time we as people tend to listen to respond, blocking the opportunity for our mind to completely process the message. Instead of thinking of your response while listening to said message, clear all thoughts, and allow yourself to focus on the message altogether.
Repressing Our Emotions
When it comes to translating your message affectively to one another, always take your time in interpreting your own thoughts so that you will succeed in communicating them. The biggest downfall in communication is often linked with repressing our emotions. Depending on our past traumas, most of us have a hard time overcoming difficult situations. Unfortunately, a lot of us move forward without healing. This repression often results in developing defenses. These same walls are not only keeping in the intense emotions you think are too much to interpret, but are also blocking out your potential opportunities to build successful relationships.
Whenever I get frustrated, or confused, I like to allow myself the moments needed to resolve any impulse emotions prior to communicating my feelings. I find it better for myself personally, to make sure any decisions I make moving forward are made logically and clearly.
Sometimes, the other party may not be willing to talk things out when you’re ready to do so, and that is okay. Allow those individuals to process what may have transpired, how they feel, and where they’d like to go from there moving on.
Translating Your Thoughts Effectively
When it comes to communicating your thoughts, opinions, or feelings, always keep it simple. The best communicators are always managing to find ways to make the most complex issues rather minute.
Structure your thoughts beforehand by clarifying the situation, how you interpreted the issue at hand, and offer up a solution. Always make your intentions clear, and express where you would like to see the partnership, friendship, or relationship go in the future. Find where the moment of miscommunication escalated, defuse the confusion, and build better skills moving forward.
More recently I have found that the practice of meditation is extremely helpful in sorting out my thoughts, when certain roadblocks in miscommunication arise. The main purpose in meditation is not to control your thoughts, but embrace and be at peace with them. Trying not to think of something, does the complete opposite. Attempting to remove negative thoughts only make it more difficult to withdraw them from your mind. It is healthier to be aware of your thoughts, and become at peace with the things that are out of your control.
You cannot master meditation overnight, but the more you practice the better you get. Headspace is an easily accessible app that helps you through various methods to bring clarity to your mindset. You can simply download to your android or iPhone, sign up for a free trial, and start the process.
Mindful Tips to Maintain
- If there is ever any confusion, do NOT hesitate to ask questions. Seek clarity in your initial response during an important conversation. Ex: “When you said ____, what I heard was ____. Is that what you meant?”
Repeating an important piece of information back to the sender is much appreciated, for it shows you were listening.
2. Don’t get angry at another person’s feelings/opinion. Everyone is entitled to feel.
3. Try not to judge the other individual’s interpretation, or methods of communication. Express to them how their words or actions affected you, help them see your point of view, and seek clarity. If their communication style doesn’t sit well with you, offer humble suggestions to how they can communicate effectively with you.
4. Communication is NEVER perfected. We as humans are naturally flawed. There will always be bumps in the road to seeking perfect communication habits.
Whenever you feel as though you wish to seek improvement in your communication style, revert back to these primary tips to succeed in your disclosures. Happy conquering!