While it is true that you nor I can control someone elses attitude or willingness to cooperate, there are some things you can do to help open the doors for communication. Communicating is a joint effort involving all parties concerned, listening as well as speaking. If you want to move mountains, you must learn to communicate from the heart.
Learning to Communicate Is Important
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand”
Matthew 12:25 KJV
Throughout the recent events of the past few years, I have noticed a trend of people forcefully trying to get others to “jump on thier band wagon” While I am sure they think they are communicating, all it really is – is a form of arguing.
With that being said, the first point you need to remember is to make sure that you take every precaution not to present your case in a non-argumentive fashion. For most people, when they argue, they are only listening to be able to react instead of listening to understand. The foundation for communication is lost, gaining neither of you anything.
American People Have a Birthright
We as Americans have the right to be heard. We have the right to a belief that is different than someone elses, and we have the right to live our lives the way we choose within certain constraints, both legally and morally.
These are some of the beliefs that America was founded on. It is these beliefs that you will not be able to subdue in Americans. You cross the line on this, you will have a fight until the death on your hands. Fighting is not communicating.
You have no right to infringe upon the rights of others. In my own mind, this includes cutting others off or speaking over the top of others so that not only can you not hear them, but others cannot as well. This is extremely rude and disrespectful. If you want me to hear you, you must hear me as well. If you want respect, you must give respect.
Shh… Now Listen (this is the key for learning to communicate)
One of the main keys to communication is to give the other person the ability to be heard. No matter how offensive it may be to you or how much it may conflict with your own beliefs.
I believe that most people have a good heart, but are all to often misunderstood. We do not all form our sentences the same way, or choose the same words. this is one of the many things that make us unique. Unfortunately, this is also the reason for so much misunderstanding and miscommunication
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
That’s it, sit down, take your shoes off, take a minute to relax, then slip the other person’s shoes on. Close your eyes, and forget about “you” for a minute. Put your personal beliefs aside, and slip on the other persons shoes.
Look at their life as if you were them. To be able to truly do this, you must put all your personal beliefs and pre-conceptions aside. As you look at the situation they are facing, think about their home life, when and where they have lived, and/or currently live. What circumstances do they have going on right now in their life that has brought you together.
Think of this as if you were a mediator between two parties. You are mediating for yourself with another person.
This is where you can communicate effectively. This place of beginning to see the person sitting in front of you in another light. One that you can freely talk with empathy and openness.
Many times people say things that they do not realize maybe taken completely different than the manner in which it was meant. Instead of being insulted, or angry, ask them questions to clarify what they said.
Just as two people can look at the exact same picture, more likely than not, they will have two completely different views of what they saw.
Stick to the Topic at Hand
Do not jump from subject to subject unless it is directly related to matter of which you are discussing. People who do this are confusing and frustrating to the other person. If you wish to talk about two separate matters, fully discuss one at a time.
If you want to move mountains, you must learn to communicate from the heart… Effective communication is less about talking, and more about listening and understanding. Many people do not listen to understand, they only listen to reply.
If you want to make a true change, learn how to listen from the heart, to listen for understanding. You can not make a change until you have an understanding of what/who your opponent is. And remember, rarely will you ever change a persons ideals or beliefs with one conversation, if you can even change it at all. Sometimes, you can agree on some things, not others, and sometimes you just have to agree to disagree.
At the end of the day if you can honestly say you did everything you could with love in your heart. Then don’t worry about the outcome, you have done all you can do. Some people will not be mentally able to meet you where you are. There will always be someone with an angry soul, a chip on their shoulder, and hatred in their heart. Only God can change these people – not you.