For any relationship to grow and flourish, it is essential that both parties treasure regular communication. Otherwise, the chances the relationship will survive are slim. Ongoing communication, on the other hand, provides the opportunity for the relationship to deepen and expand, allowing the people involved to experience great joy and pleasure.
Many people mistakenly consider communication to be all about talking. While talking is certainly part of it, however, it is just one part. Good communication also involves the following three components:

1. Listening. Far too often, a person involved in a conversation becomes preoccupied with what he or she is trying to say. Instead of hearing what is being said, he or she becomes fixated on formulating his or her next statement. As a result, what the other person is attempting to communicate gets lost. Rather than making it your goal to say whatever you feel you need to say, decide that you will sincerely listen to what is being said. Most misunderstandings and relational conflicts can be avoided simply by listening more attentively.

2. Understanding. Be careful to not jump to conclusions and make assumptions about what the other person is trying to communicate. Make sure you truly understand. When in doubt, ask questions that will help clarify the intended meaning. Cold, hard facts are usually easy to understand. However, because so much relational communication involves emotions, understanding what is truly being communicated can be much more difficult. A simple technique that can help you gain understanding is to rephrase what you are hearing and then saying it back to the other person. If you have misunderstood, that person will have the opportunity to offer a clarification.

Jesus, realizing that not everyone who heard his words actually took them to heart, urged one crowd, "Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand" (Mark 7:14, KJV). He did not want his words to simply go in one ear and out the other. He desired understanding.

3. Valuing. Self-centered people do not value what other people are saying. When someone you care about says something to you--no matter how off the wall or frivolous it may seem to you at first--take it seriously. You do not have to necessarily agree with it, but value it. Do not dismiss it as meaningless or naive.

The writer of Psalm 119 set an example of what it means to value words. In particular, he expressed the value he placed on the word of God: "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee" (Psalm 119:11, KJV). His devotion to God was evidenced through the way he cherished and internalized God's word.

Good communication within your relationship is possible, but it requires self-discipline for you to implement these principles. As you do, though, you can experience a greater appreciation for the other person and an ever-deepening connection. Check out my book, Women Under Construction, for more life principles that will enhance your relationships.
 


Comments

Rabeena Khan
06/02/2012 9:18pm

Listening would have to be the most important (and most neglected) of the skills you mentioned. Glad you put it first!

Love your blog and book Tif!

Reply
rubnin
06/07/2012 1:14pm

Great advice Tifphanie.

The thought that came to my mind while reading your blog post was Stephen Covey's quote "Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood". It can be very effective when applied.

Reply
Lester G
06/11/2012 3:02am

Valuing... that's a new one. I guess if you value the person saying it, you would naturally value their opinion.

Reply
09/25/2012 12:42pm

A fine quality educational blog! I like the way blogger presented information regarding the concerned subject. Thanks for posting such a nice blog.

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