Thursday, January 27, 2011

SKILL DAY: How do YOU communicate?

This may seem like a strange question. If you read Monday's entry, you saw that I told you about four different modes of communicating:

with words and sounds (verbal/vocal; talking)
with words and no sounds (verbal/nonvocal; sign language)
with no words and sounds (nonverbal/vocal; tone of voice, volume, etc.)
with no words and no sounds (nonverbal/nonvocal; raised eyebrows, gestures, etc.)

On today's Skill Day, I want to focus on having you think about the ways you communicate. When visiting my mother last summer I realized I sigh...a lot. And I know exactly where I learned it! She sighs a lot, too. It frustrated me when she did it (sorry, Mom!). At that point I realized that while I'm usually sighing to try to "center" my thoughts, it may frustrate those around me. And that's NEVER my goal. Now, I'll be honest. I still sigh. I try to do it quieter now, though, and less frequently.

My dear husband has also helped me to see the ways I communicate that I'm sometimes oblivious to. For instance, sometimes when we are on the phone, the kids need my attention. You know what I'm talking about, right? He'll let me know, with love, that I'm not giving him my full attention. In communication lingo - I'm communicating in a way that I didn't realize. I love it when he does this because that's an opportunity for me to make changes! If I don't realize I'm doing something, I can't change it.

Skill4U: So, how do YOU communicate? Pay attention this week to what you are saying...and not saying. Maybe ask your spouse to help you tune in to your nonverbal communication (tone of voice, eye contact, etc.). By being more tuned in, we can communicate what we really mean to communicate.

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