Here's How to Become a Great Communicator
I’m working on my communication, mostly my listening. I’m getting better. As I recall my past listening ability it was weak. When someone would question or comment on my listening I’d get defensive. Not anymore. Here was my pattern of listening. Those of you that know me well may recognize some of these less than excellent attributes of my previous listening.
When I heard enough or knew where things were going, you’d likely hear me say uh-huh or some version of that. Usually, I was tuned out and wanting you to think I was still engaged. It wasn’t premeditated, but I did that, nonetheless.
Another thing I did was start planning my response in advance of my turn to talk. This caused me to miss parts of the conversation. Sometimes I’d think to myself, “what was just said,” or “what did I miss.” When someone would tell me their name I’d already be thinking what I would say, and even though you told me your name three seconds ago I’d have to ask you a second time. That asking again would often be, “your name is so and so, right?” I’d mostly get it right, but having to ask meant I was not fully present to the speaker.
The most egregious bad listening technique I had was when I was listening to a presentation, lecture, training, or something else where the speaker was remote or far away. Sometimes it was an audiobook, a podcast, or in a Zoom room. No one ever knew I was not listening. It was never done maliciously. Mostly, it was me multitasking. You know, checking texts, email, things like that. I’d be lucky to hear 50% of what was said. This technique, or shall I say lack of a technique, has cost me the most. 
Maybe you’ve experienced these same, let’s call them bad habits, and could benefit from what I’ve learned. Here is how I’ve improved my communication skills. First, I’ve been consciously working on becoming a better listener for about five years. I’ve evolved more in the last year than the four previous.
Recently, I became a HeartMath Certified Trainer, approved to teach their Resilience Advantage Program. Here is a summary of the HeartMath Coherent Communication Technique I’ve learned and now teach. There are 3 steps:

  1. You will want to be in a heart-coherent state before communicating to effectively share and receive information. You enter that state through the HeartMath Heart Focused Breathing Technique. It is easy to do and has many applications.

  2. The listener’s second step is to listen for the essence of what is being said without prejudging or getting pulled into drama before the communication is complete. The key word here is essence. When you listen that way you’ll not drift or plan a response. Self-awareness is key. Listen as if you’re the speaker. Hear what is being said. Nothing added or subtracted, just what is said.

    The speaker’s second step is to speak from a genuine tone and consider what you’re going to say and how it may affect others. I’ve been working on that for some time, well before I learned the Coherent Communication Technique. Again, self-awareness is key and slowing down a bit helps too.

    American naturalist and essayist Henry David Thoreau said, “It takes two to speak the truth. One to speak and another to hear.” The Ultimate Coach, Steve Hardison says, “the power is with the listener.” That has helped me tremendously, keeping me engaged as a listener.

  3. The third step is especially important during vital or sensitive communications. It is highly effective to confirm the essence of what you heard, ensuring mutual understanding. For the listener this means reflecting back what the speaker said and asking for refinements when something said is not clear. The key here is for both speaker and listener to be sure there is a mutual understanding.
There you have it. I am a much better communicator because of the HeartMath Coherent Communication Technique and the self-awareness I am now bringing to my communications, particularly in the way I listen.
If you’d like to learn more about developing your communication skills or have something to add to this conversation please comment below or message me privately.
An acknowledgement: I express deep gratitude for the numerous teachers who have been a part of my life's journey. From the educators I actively engaged with to those who silently imparted invaluable lessons, I am truly indebted to all of you for shaping the course of my life. Your impact is immeasurable, and I owe a significant portion of my life's journey to each one of you.


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