Conflict with Grace – Communication

Stephen Covey says it best:conflict resolution strategies on napkin

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” 

How often do you find yourself talking to one person or a group of people only to find that they heard maybe the first couple of words that you said and then they began the process of compiling their answers in their head … sometimes even interrupting you so they can get their thoughts/answers out before you have even gotten to the point of your conversation?

Are you listening?

An expert in communication is someone who listens 90% of the time – intently – pauses to think about whom they want to be in the moment of their answer and then speaks the other 10% of the time.  This is the true process of effective and great communication.  This process has been lost to most of us today as life seems so chaotic that we don’t feel as if we have time to listen in this manner – hurry up and say it!  I have things to do!  We spend so much of our time multi tasking that communicating effectively, hence listening, has become hard work.

Reality …  listening intently is a choice … a choice to be involved in the conversation (90% listening), a choice to be there with the other person in the present moment (to care enough about that person and yourself). Decide to make that choice.

I have a friend that does this quite well.  He listens with such intensity that he can almost literally repeat back word for word what I have said.  It is refreshing!  I love it!  He is totally present in the moment with you.  He has ruined me for other people who are not in that moment!  Glad to have been ruined, though.

Communication is key to handling conflict with grace.  Once you are able to consciously put yourself fully into any conversation by being present, then you begin to really connect with the person speaking along with connecting more to yourself.  You find that life is not as chaotic as you thought it was as you have started choosing to find the joy of being present.

What can you do?

Next time you are having a conversation, notice when people begin to zone out into their own world.  Then notice yourself when you start to zone out when someone else is talking.  Do this at work or at home.  You can only change yourself so begin there.  Begin noticing your own pattern of communication style and make a choice to change.  You will be surprised by how much freedom this change can bring to you.

Return next week for the last step in Conflict with Grace.

If you would like to learn more about this process, click below to have a conversation with me.  Conflict will never look the same again.