How Effective Communication Can Transform Your Relationships


Why is knowing yourself so important to creating successful relationships?

This is the second article outlining the principles and qualities it takes to create successful relationships

In the first article “How to Create Amazing Relationships” we discussed the impact communication has on our ability to create wonderful relationships, feel happier and enjoy professional success in our lives.

Communication is a powerful tool if any successful relationship.

Today I want to share with you one of the 5 principles we all need if we have any hope of having successful relationships personally or professionally. It all starts with learning more about yourself rather than anything else.

I do like to say that communication is really all about lots of "C" words; Curiousity, Consciousness, Compassion, Connection, Collaboration, Control, Commitment, Consideration, Care, Courage, etc. No I wasn't thinking Chocolate, but having said that isn't everyone more agreeable when eating chocolate?

One of the key "C"principles we need is Consciousness, which really is only a trendy new age word for personal awareness or knowing yourself intimately, so don't let the word scare you off all the good information coming your way now. Becoming more conscious is essential to great relationships because truthfully relationships are really an inside job.

As we learn more about ourselves and can express ourselves from a deeper understanding of what we want and need, and why we want and need it, then we will all experience less conflict and misunderstandings and a lot more cooperation, appreciation and loving harmony.

Communication is an equal opportunity skill for all areas of our lives, whether personal or professional, and is a skill that will improve our intimate relationships; families will be healthier, companies more cohesive and productive, communities more collaborative and nations more united.

Richard Barrett of the Barrett Values Centre says, "that a culture of any organization can only be as evolved as the highest level of consciousness of it's leader" and it is the same for any relationship.

So what does being conscious mean?

CONSCIOUSNESS: (kon-shuhs-nis) NOUN: to understand the deeper meaning of what you think and feel. It is really noticing and becoming aware of your own feelings, reactions and responses.

As I said, relationships are inside work and the people around us are only triggers so we will learn to notice how we are feeling, what has made us feel that way, what values are being prodded, what needs are being compromised and what story we are telling ourselves. Relationships are an invitation to know yourself better so you can share yourself with others. 

We now know through neural science that how we think directly impacts how we feel. We attribute meaning to everything based on what we think which in turn causes our reactions and feelings.

Remember, "Don't believe everything you think."

I do love the expression "don't believe everything you think" because what we think is shaped by our past experiences good and bad. We have a thought, which in turn causes a feeling or reaction.

We think based on our previous experiences, learning, social values and upbringing. Most of the time those ingrained neural networks are hardwired with outmoded ideas that aren’t true in the moment. Learning to interpret your feelings is where the important information can be found. 

The feelings we have are based on thoughts that are probably not unbiased thoughts either, but a collection of conclusions we learned since childhood and past experiences. Some of those will include past hurts where we have learned to deny our needs, values and primary emotions.

Another person can hear a comment or view an event completely differently than you, based on your different experiences with the words, what happened, where they were said, how they were said, the context etc and both of you could easily draw up completely different conclusions, neither right or wrong, just different. 

Don’t believe everything you think because what you think is not always true. Can you think of things you think that aren't true? How about: I am not good enough, I can't do that, I am fat, I am too old, they don’t like me, I am not loveable. I am sure you can come up with a whole lot more.

Learn to trust in your feelings when your thoughts lead you astray. 

Your job is to notice what story, or tape you have running in the background that filters all the messages you get from others. Once you notice your thoughts and the FEELINGS that come up from the interaction you can get clearer on what those FEELINGS mean to you.  

The trick is to uncover your thoughts so that we can see events objectively and we can replace those outdated stories with new perspectives and understanding.

Your FEELINGS are your barometer for what you really need and value and when you are able to tune into them you have done the first part to becoming more aware of yourself and learning how to communicate better.

Your feelings are never wrong but your thinking might be less than optimal. Use your feelings like clues to find the truth. You are on a hunt to solve the mystery of what you really think.

I have learned over many years to let my feelings guide me to clarity about what I am really thinking and then I can assess if what I am thinking is really accurate and true. It has helped me many times to not make assumptions about what something means and this one skill has improved all my relationships. 

When you are able to understand yourself better, you can live more authentically & truthfully with yourself and others. You will then be able to live your life more aligned with your real needs and values which will create more internal harmony, less stress and more happiness everyday.

The idea is that you will then be able to express how you feel to another person in a calm and clear way, which in turn builds connection, trust, intimacy and greater understanding between you.

As we explore all aspects of communication I would like to invite you to NOTICE what you FEEL when something or someone is "triggering" you and what thoughts or story came up before you had a reaction. Focus on yourself first. Work backwards. Ask yourself 'is what I am thinking true?'

Do your best to just be aware of yourself and we will talk about how to successfully share it with others later in the series.

If you want to discover more about what you think and feel let me know and if you want to learn more about Successful Communication Made Simple click here.

This article was originally published at Mheyah Bailey @ Connection Point Centre. Reprinted with permission from the author.