Let’s talk about communication today.
A survey of 100 marriage counselors revealed that the #1 cause for divorce is poor communication. That’s not surprising to you, is it?
In fact, I’d venture to say your own relationship struggles also stem from poor communication, be it a spouse, a teenager or a coworker. Am I right?
So, if communication is such a problem, why don’t we tackle it head-on? Why don’t we be proactive with our communication?
The more you know, the better you’ll communicate. Do you know if you’re an over-communicator or an under-communicator? I learned about this from Alli Worthington’s book Breaking Busy.
YOU MIGHT BE AN OVERCOMMUNICATOR IF:
- You’re always thinking of the next thing you’ll say in a conversation
- If you say goodbye several times in a phone call
- You’ve been accused of hijacking a conversation or meeting.
- Sometimes talk a lot without saying anythings
YOU MIGHT BE AN UNDERCOMMUNICATOR IF:
- You think people don’t follow your directions well
- People often fail to live up to your expectations
- You find yourself doing things you don’t want to do because you don’t want to speak up
- Your spouse often complains, “I’m not a mind reader you know!”
Well, which one do you tend toward? Are there any small steps you can take to be a better communicator based on your tendencies?
Let’s keep learning. Have you heard of:
THE FOUR STAGES OF COMMUNICATION
Have you ever said something but it came out wrong? Or said something you didn’t mean? Maybe you’ve misinterpreted something someone else said? These problems are due to what we call the ladder of inference or the four stages of communication. They are:
- What someone means to say
- What someone says
- What the other person hears
- What they make it mean
Refer to my video here for more detailed explanation.
So, as you can imagine, we can easily mean to say something but the words don’t actually end up reflecting what we mean. Between the mind and the mouth, things get jumbled around or we’re in a hurry or distracted. Right? That’s just the beginning though.
Then, the person listening hears what you say, adds in their bias and your tone. Then once they think about it, they might make it mean something else. It’s like a game of telephone ON STEROIDS. Here’s an example:
Husband gets home early.
What I mean: Yay, he’s home!
What I say: I didn’t know you were getting off early!
What he hears: She doesn’t want me home early.
What he makes it mean: She doesn’t love me.
Sure that’s dramatic, but you get the point. What’s more is you are rarely aware of this entire process. Your brain and thoughts march along without your approval. If you were to stop and think about all of these things, you might come to a different conclusion.
I’ve created a communication contract for you for just that reason! This contract is so you and the person you’re having communication troubles with can actually DO THE WORK that it’s going to require to improve your communication. I promise you, it’s not going to fix itself.
I also advocate for marriage meetings and family meetings. This is time you and your family take to communicate on purpose. It’s time when you know you’ll be able to share and be heard as well as address things that might have come up during the week.
Since money stress is one of the leading causes of divorce, I specifically teach about BUDGET meetings and MONEY TALK in my membership community. For $20 a month, you can learn all about budgeting, communicating, eliminating debt and savings for emergencies along with so much more. You’ll even get individualized coaching plans for your financial situation along with two coaching calls a month where we answer questions and teach on topics. Sign up today, we close the doors tomorrow until next month!