By Susan Begeman Steiner
Communication, true communication, is almost impossible in the best of circumstances. It takes a ‘perfect storm’ to bring together these three necessary things:
• Your clear, concise message
• The other person’s receptivity & ability to listen
The obstacles are many. They include faulty listening filters, cultural differences, stress & hurry, moods, and – a big one -- not being sure yourself exactly what you want to communicate. How, then, is true communication possible?
Start with the main Ingredient: RESPECT.
Definition of respect: Esteem & admiration, an act of giving particular attention, willingness to show consideration or appreciation
Respect leads to the possibility of actually getting your message across by opening up the other person’s receptivity and ability to listen. In fact, if you respect the other person, you will have a natural connection with her. Your message will automatically become clearer, she will be more open to what you have to say and you will sense when the right time to talk to her is.
If you truly want to communicate with someone and do not have much respect for him, you can look deeper for what you CAN genuinely respect about him. To find respect, you first have to let go of assumptions, judgments, negativity and drama. These things kill respect and letting go of them is worth practicing.
Maybe he’s a lousy boss, but a good father, skilled businessman or powerful negotiator. Once you find the respect, you can connect with him. This is not manipulation, but truly the art of connecting with another person. Warning: If you are not genuine, your communication will fall short. Guaranteed.
You can influence the ‘perfect storm’ necessary for true communication with respect. It is ‘sweeter than honey,’ sings Aretha Franklin in the Otis Redding song, “Respect.” And it is worth finding. The other person becomes better and so do you.