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Friday, July 10, 2015

(AAA) Effective Communication

Before you read.
Take a breath and close your eyes.
Count to five and breath in and out and your own accord. Do not rush it. 

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Ok
Begin! 

How do you talk to people? 
Are you listening intently? 
Are you just waiting to put in your opinions? 
Are you learning?
Are you appreciating?

These are all necessary questions to ask yourself when pondering on the basics of human communication. It is important to approach communication in a non hostile and compassionate way. One of the best ways to communicate is to break it down into 3 tenants. 

Attention 
Acknowledgement 
Appreciation

Let's go more in depth into these pillars of effective communication that benefits all participants involved. 

1. Attention 
- Listening is an act of love.
How your carry yourself into a conversation is very important. What kind of presence are you bringing? 
Are you aware of your body language, 
Is it open? Is it loving and recognizing everyone else's presence?
Before engaging with a person or a group of people, take a chance and focus on your breath.
Take two fresh breaths so you can be refreshed!
- Listen with Intention.
- Make eye contact and nod when appropriate.
- Feel free and use affirmative words such as "Right" or " Absolutely". Avoid using more passive and apathetic words such as "ok" or "alright".

When the person or people are done talking about their point, make the next step.

2. Acknowledgement

When you acknowledge someone's words or actions, you are showing that you were paying attention with intent and not anxious to give your two cents. Acknowledgement is great for moving conversation forward and getting everyone on the same page. Sometimes you might ask a question to clarify the other person's point. Sometimes you might state what you heard right back to them in a way that makes more sense to you and all conscientious actors involved.

A: " So, you are saying that the Chicago hot dog is one of the best hot dogs out there?"
B: " Yes, absolutely! "

Acknowledgement is as important as appreciation in that it requires you to be present and listening intently. It is simply the bridge that allows all effective communication to filter through and clarify.

3. Appreciation

After you have completed the first 2 steps, you can move on to showing appreciation towards the other persons' words or actions. This may be uncomfortable if you are not use to giving compliments or showing positive feedback to people around you. The best thing to do is practice. Practice getting out of your comfort zones and actually showing some compassion and spread positivity to people around you. It can be as small as a two word compliment or a more in depth description of a person's words. Make sure to keep everything as clear and explicit as possible as to not create any confusion of condescension or sarcasm.

A: " I really appreciate you expressing your opinions of hot dogs. It seems like you have put a lot of thought and work into determining what tastes good for you. I admire that you are so passionate about it!"
B: " Thank you!"

Showing appreciation will create an atmosphere of constructive criticism and positivity that will ease communication for you in the future. It is important to not try to force it every time. You do not want to come off as someone being a suckup or a brown noser. Appreciations can be subtle and grandiose depending on the context of the conversation. If you are taking a bunch of time to show too much Appreciation, it might hinder the organic nature of the conversation itself. Use appreciation wisely throughout a conversation and make sure to end every conversation with it.

In conclusion, if you keep these three principles in mind you will see a change for the better. You will notice that people's attitudes will be affected and uplifted. You will notice that more people will have more interest in talking with you and will pass on the same behaviors you bring forth. Keep in mind that you might find resistance within some people and sometimes no matter what you do you will not be able to have a peaceful and constructive conversation. The best thing to do in that situation is to peacefully disembark with honesty and courage without calling out someone on their errors or aggressions. There are plenty of positive and willing people that are waiting for you to interact with.

Go forth, be mindful, and learn!


DG


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