Communication: Not a One-Way Word

What Is Communication?
Many problems in human relationships occur because of a lack of communication. “But wait,” you say, “I tell her all the time what I think, and she just doesn’t seem to hear me.” Is talking communication? Is telling communication? The speaker may think so, but real communication takes place when both people in a conversation have a chance not only to be understood but also to understand.

How to Effectively Communicate
Effective communication only occurs when both parties understand the exact information the other person wants to convey. That means each person needs to state facts, issues and requests clearly so that the listener understands, and then allow the listener to respond.

In Case of a Disagreement
Most of us want to live peaceably, but in Mt. Lebanon, where we live in close proximity to one another and have diverse perspectives and lifestyles, the possibilities for disagreement are endless. If you find yourself in a conflict, it is important to strive for good communication. To help the other person understand you, try presenting your ideas in several different ways, and then ask if they can understand or empathize with what you said, even if they don't agree. Once the person says they understand you, allow them to express their point of view.

Remembering to Listen
Keep in mind, though, that while the person is explaining their ideas, you need to concentrate on what they are saying without thinking of “buts, howevers or I thinks.” It is hard to listen without mentally refuting, denying or negating. But it is possible with practice—and you may be amazed by what you truly hear. You may even come to an amicable understanding with an adversary.