“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
You’ve heard it said many times: Building a healthy relationship takes work. You don’t get the relationships you want; you get the relationships you build. You also know that communication is the heart of a healthy relationship. However, even though we know this to be true, we sometimes fail to communicate the way we should, and it disconnects us from others. When we don’t communicate effectively, we put stress on our relationships.
Here are the first five common disconnectors to watch out for.
- Allowing your emotions to speak for you. Emotions can hijack a conversation. Unless you manage them, strong emotions bypass the logical part of the brain and cause you to react and speak before thinking. Strong emotions do not want patience, precision, or perspective … all of which are necessary for healthy relationships and effective teamwork.
- Caring more about yourself than the other person or the team. Communication is about finding and connecting with what is important to the other person. On a team or in a relationship, it is never successful when a person cares more about himself/herself than other people. Never.
- A cynical or negative mindset. The attitude you bring to a conversation will, to a great extent, determine the quality of the conversation. If you have a cynical or negative mindset, it is not likely you will care, listen, or communicate. You certainly won’t connect. If you want to connect, get your mind right.
- Assuming that you understand and failing to really listen. It is easy to jump to a conclusion without getting the information that matters. Sometimes we think we understand, when in fact we don’t. People are complex and situations are complex. There is always more to the story. Even if you think you know, your job is to listen and learn. Don’t assume. Seek to understand.
- Rushing a conversation that needs more time. Effective communication is not an event. It is a process. It takes time to interact with others and exchange ideas and information. Make the necessary investment. Give conversations the time they need to be done well.
Trust God and do the work to develop and build your communication skills. Be excellent (hayil) in the way you communicate and connect with the people in your life.