In my search for learning, I recently stumbled upon an early video of Tony Robbins giving a seminar, and though the video was from some time ago, the message still hit home.
In it, he shares what is the one thing that determines the quality of our lives.
It’s the quality of our communication.
That’s the one single thing that determines our quality of life.
It’s about what we communicate. What we know, what we want, what we feel, what we do.
And communication is not only about clearly getting our point across and being understood, but understanding others as well. Listening and understanding plays a big part in the quality of communication that we have.
I remember there was a time I was in a long-distance relationship. Cellphone signal quality wasn’t so good, and it was such a challenge not only to be heard, but to hear and understand what was being said on the other end of the line.
Many misunderstandings and disagreements came from not listening, not understanding, not being heard, and the frustration that came along with all of that.
And it can be hard to listen. When we think of communication, and on improving communication, it involves a lot of presentation skills, speaking skills, what the content of the message will be and how it is presented.
Yes that’s important as well, but most of communication training is about the message we want to say, and how to say it. It rarely is about understanding and listening first to what the other knows, wants, feels, and does.
Communication. It’s a two way street.
The clearer we can understand what is being expressed, and the clearer we can express our message and make ourselves understood, the better our lives will be.
It’s also about accepting what is reality, what is actual, versus what we see, perceive, believe it to be.
Our communication with ourselves.
And the first step to begin to improve the quality of our lives, is to improve the quality of communication we have with ourselves.
Do we listen to ourselves? To how we’re feeling? To what we honestly want to say and do?
It can be hard to do this, especially when we’ve spent so long listening to others and what others tell us about ourselves.
Or listening to what we want to tell ourselves, instead of what our self is trying to tell us.
Right now I have a lot of things to do, and I have a bum stomach as of the moment. To not listen to myself is to just go on normally, and eat all the foods that I will regret later on.
In this moment, it’s listening to myself say that I have a bum stomach, it’s uncomfortable, and you can still do your work, you’ve just got to watch out for what you eat, and drink lots of water.
Listening to ourselves comes with a certain level of humility and acceptance. And courage. To accept what is really happening, and not to sugarcoat it, or deny it.
Telling yourself a reality that isn’t true as of the moment only serves to drag you down. Accept, and move on, or believe otherwise, and be stuck.
Watch your language, what you say and what you tell yourself. We always have a choice.
Our communication with others.
Many times, we may find it hard to listen to others, as well as to communicate what we want to say.
We find it hard to communicate what we want to say, because we feel there will be effects on how other people think and feel about us, and that we may end up saying something we didn’t mean to, again affecting how people think and feel about us.
We also find it hard to listen to others, because they may be using language that we are not familiar with, or we’re not on the same page. And there have been times when it’s hard to listen to, especially when we feel ourselves being affected, attacked even, by what we’re hearing.
See a common pattern there?
Our quality of communication is affected by the meanings and feelings we attach to what we say, and to what we hear.
I’m not saying to not be careful of how we say things, as communication is really about how you say it rather than what you say. I’m saying be careful in finding out what things really mean, and are the emotions we are attaching to what we hear coming from us, or from them?
Because miscommunication happens when we attach meaning to what we hear and see, meaning that is not the actual meaning, and meaning that we assume, come to conclusions.
That’s not reality. It’s how we believe it to be. That can be wrong.
Part of improving the quality of our communication is finding out what they really mean and feel, and taking care to communicate exactly what we mean and feel.
Quality communication makes all the difference.
Pain, hurt, loss, disagreements, resentment, fights, even wars, have been started due to miscommunication, or lack of communication. Even wrong communication.
Communicating with our self and others only serve to not only improve the quality of our lives, but the quality of the lives of the people we interact with as well.
It’s not only what we say.
It’s not only how we say it.
It’s not only listening.
It’s also about what we hear from what we listen.
And is it true?
In your experience, why don’t we communicate better? Please share in the comments below!