The Challenges of Communication
Communication can be challenging, because as human beings we all have our own view of the world and how it works. Consequently, we will have a bespoke way of interpreting how others communicate with us. We all know that everyone has a different opinion, but secretly we all know we’re right…right?
Sometimes it can be beneficial to take a moment in the other person’s shoes in order to understand the best way of communicating with them. For example, imagine you were feeling under an enormous amount of pressure from an organisation you were part of to get referrals for other members of the organisation. Every week you had to tell the other members of the organisation how many referrals you had obtained in the previous week. To avoid embarrassment, you decided to use family members to get referrals for you, and over time you began putting pressure on them for more referrals. Naturally enough, this leads to arguments and a breakdown in communication.
My solution is to try and place yourself in the shoes of the other family members. Set up four chairs and sit in one of them and go through the situation from your own perspective. Then move to another seat and run through the whole incident as if you are another member of the family. Try this for all of the individuals involved before returning to your original seat. You can now go over the situation with a clear knowledge of how the other members of the family feel. Instead of feeling angry and frustrated, you can see that it had been inappropriate to behave in such a way; that your anger and frustration was actually with the organisation that was putting you under so much pressure, and that you had been using your family as an outlet for those feelings. Having realised all of this, it is simply a case of apologising to your family and trying to resolve the situation with the organisation.
Carrying out this exercise enables you to remove yourself from your own feelings and needs long enough to take an objective view.
Understanding other people's point of view will always aid communication.
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