Do you want to communicate more effectively, especially with the people you care about the most? So you want to learn to use Safe Conversations to improve all of your relationships? Do you want to feel heard and understood and also know that you are hearing the other person effectively and, in the process, improve virtually all of your relationships?
OR do you want to keep things the way they are? If you want the former, read on!
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be great at communicating with others? They seem to be able to get their point across, mean what they say and present their point of view in a way that is easy for everyone else to understand and feel respected in the process. But is this enough?
The Power of Communication
Humans communicate our needs or desires with others even as early as in the womb. Sure, our early attempts at communication are pretty primitive and comprise primal expressions such as crying or screaming or, hey, looking cute!
Eventually, with the addition of learned vocabulary and even elementary language skills, our ability to communicate to others slowly begins to improve – at least for some people and in some ways.
We Go By the Seat of Our Pants!
Humans use various conscious and unconscious communication skills in virtually every moment of our day. Most of us have been trying to communicate effectively, likely without understanding some simple nuances to enable us to share better.
Sadly, few of us learn effective communication skills. We model others around us, such as our primary caregivers or peers. Unfortunately, they also didn’t get any more real training than we did. As a result, poor communication is likely one of the leading causes of much of the unrest in the world today and throughout history.
My Favorite Quote about Communication
I heard this great expression when studying NLP sometime ago, which sums up the communication process. It goes something like this: “The effectiveness of my communication is the response I get. (from the person I’m speaking to).”
We often assume our communication has been effective and has gotten our point across. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The response to my communication lets me know if I have effectively conveyed my point of view to someone else. Based on the feedback, I will also determine whether my communication partner is hearing/listening to me.
The Power of Feedback
The communication process gives us solid feedback on how well we can communicate our point of view. The responses from the others in our communication group help correct and improve the communication process.
Unfortunately, most people don’t make any course corrections and plod along blindly. Mistakenly, many people think they need to speak louder or repeat their point of view if they don’t feel they are getting their point across, many times at the cost of the other person’s perspective.
My question to you is: do the people around you feel heard, and do you feel heard by them? If not, why?
We Only Learned the Basics!
We learn some essential components about effective Communication throughout our lives. These can include: being clear about what you want, monitoring your tone of voice, creating rapport with another person, etc.
Yes, all these skills are essential. But is this enough to have effective Communication?
Most people’s communication skills remain fundamental, and few understand some of the valuable nuances of effective communication.
What I learned from reading Forum Posts
I have read many posts in many forums online on various topics. (As you can see from this website, I’m currently interested in things like “Attachment Theory,” Relationships, Growth Mindset, etc.)
In many of these forums, someone makes an initial statement and then there is space for people to add their comments. People comment about their recent communication process with someone they care about and how it did not produce their desired results. They include statements such as: “He’s not listening” or “she’s not listening anymore,” “they’re not paying attention,” etc., etc.
Others respond by offering feedback/advice, generally expressing their emotionally driven judgments; not realizing the content of the original statement is also triggering them emotionally. People judge the post’s content based on their own (emotion-driven) opinions and come up with judgments such as the partner being abusive or not listening, etc.
The Pattern in Forums (and Life)
As I reviewed many of these posts, an obvious pattern emerged. I realized that a big part of the issue was not what was said (though obviously, this contributed) but that the participants did not have a respectful communication process. The communication process most people were utilizing had let them down.
Simply put, the communication method that most people utilize is ineffective and doesn’t meet the needs of either party to have a mutually beneficial communication process. Going by the “seat of the pants” communication approach led to hurt feelings, unnecessary misunderstanding, and disappointment.
The real issue under most of these forums is not the post’s content is about understanding what the post is really. Is it conveying that one or more participants are not friendly people, or is the platform the participants are using for Communication ineffective? Far too often, the results people create in the communication process are the problem of the communication method or how people are communicating with each other. I will discuss this in greater detail shortly.
My Reflection on My Failures in Communication.
First, I love talking to other people. I love hearing them and getting an opportunity to share what’s going on for me, though I prefer the latter, like most people. 🙂
The most challenging times I’ve had with communication came when I was under stress, emotionally charged, or in vulnerable situations such as talking to a loved one.
In hindsight, I’ve recently realized that my skill set was greatly lacking throughout most of my life. I clearly didn’t understand the power and benefits of an effective communication process.
Yes, I can be articulate; I can be adamant, have a point of view, and do my best to get this across. I failed the most by not hearing my partner effectively, especially when needed.
As I look back on my life, I feel like I was so unknowledgeable about what was necessary for my partner to feel safe, feel heard, and know that they can get their point across the matter what. In all honesty, I let my partner down far too often and unnecessarily hurt them simply because I didn’t know how to communicate effectively. I sure didn’t know when not to talk and how critical listening is!
Listening is equally even more important than getting your point across.
Very few people learn to master the vital skills needed to communicate effectively, especially in difficult times. It is so, so essential to incorporate active listening. Remember, listening is half of the communication process, and it needs to have as much respect as the delivery of information.
When you’re communicating with someone else, what is the most important thing to you? It always comes down to two equal components, stating your needs/desires while at the same time knowing that your sharing is both witnessed and is respected. These components are equally crucial to the other participants in the communication process.
So much of the communication process can focus on getting your point across – but what about the feedback process? Ask yourself, do you think most people merely want to be talked at? Sadly, we frail humans equally wish to be seen and heard. Good communication skills are critical, especially if a person has had negligent parenting as a young child, which resulted in unhealed wounds.
How Our Emotions Can Wreak Havoc On The Communication Process!
We, humans, are emotional beings, and unfortunately, far too often, conversations and relationships can trigger both surface and deep-seated emotional issues. Many people may stop listening when these emotional issues become activated as their internal wounds consume them. This process can bring out a whole series of responses varying on a person’s emotional state and between people who deeply love each other.
Letting my emotions override everything
If I reflect on the years where I failed my partners the most, a significant issue always is and was not effectively listening to them. There were many times when my emotions would take over my thinking, and instead of hearing my partner, I focused on getting my emotion-driven message across as if it was the most important thing at the time.
Who knows, maybe it was in my need to be right or hide my emotional wounds by allowing my deep dark demons that wanted to be heard to come to the surface. I came to realize over time that far too many things that are wrapped in our communication process can be tied to our unmet emotional needs from our childhood.
In Relationships, It’s Not Just about One Person – even if you are Donald Trump 🙂
Both people can need to be acknowledged as well. I had never understood that how I was communicating was doing more damage than helping instead of creating closeness.
As it turned out, I discovered that my partner had a massive fear of men, which she did not openly disclose. She learned this viewpoint from her primary caregiver, who had experienced infidelity with her partner. At a young age, my partner was inundated with the beliefs that men were unsafe and could not be trusted and, as a result, that they should be feared.
The Hidden Problem Where I Failed
My seemingly vibrant and outgoing partner did not convey this massive hidden fear when I met her. For me, I went in blindly, not realizing the demons she was carrying, But then again, she also didn’t know about the demons I held.
Learn about releasing trapped Emotions Here:
We needed more than anything else with the model communication so that she could safely express this deep-seated fear. We needed one that was respectful but most of all one that would be guaranteed we would both be heard. This old wound needed to be processed and healed. Unfortunately, I failed her miserably as I didn’t understand any of this.
Being heard is one of the core needs of most people. Even the most healthy people want to be heard. Being listened to is even more critical for people who came out of their childhood emotionally wounded through negligent parenting, such as those with anxious or avoidant attachment strategies.
Attachment is So Critical
(If you don’t know anything about Attachment, I strongly recommend you learn more. An excellent place to start is HERE
The study of Attachment relates to how we are affected in the first years by how we attach to our primary caregiver. Do they give us consistent attention and love (so we come out with a grounded sense of self?) or not.
My wonderful partner has these deep wounds, and I was oblivious to this. As a child, she was neglected by her primary caregivers (as was I) and grew up with an unconscious belief that the world was unsafe. To heal this, she needed to feel safe and heard; I just needed to witness her upset.
In our dialogues, I didn’t know this was going on, and had I; I would’ve taken a lot more care in our conversation so that she felt safe. A lot of this was my ignorance. The only good part is that it led to writing this blog post.
This arduous process has helped me better understand the nuances of all aspects of communication. These include creating safety, being fully heard, and sharing whatever needed to be shared.
The Power of Listening
My friend, never underestimate how much just listening to someone can make a difference. Most people think: I’ll listen until there is a gap or a point where I can jump in. Okay, I will for a minute or two, but you must hear my point of view, which is more important.
This rough communication process does not work and yet, sadly, is a process far too many people use!
If I could go back in time, I would change my communication process so that my partner always felt safe at their core. Doing this requires starting with a better framework for communication, one that made communication safe and where all participants would be honored. I would have wanted them to know they were important, as was anything they wanted or needed to convey.
Effective Communication and The work of Harville Hendricks and Helen Hunt
Over the years, I’ve been a massive fan of Harville Hendricks, who wrote the incredible book” Get the love you want – A Guide for couples.” This book has had a significant following. As a result, Harville has been a featured guest on the Oprah show – 17 times.
In the book, Harville and Helen teach some valuable information on the process of intimate relationships (If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it, and you can get it HERE )
In Get the Love you want, the authors share how and why we are attracted to the people we are and how much our childhood plays in the attraction process. In essence, our adult relationships become a potential venue for tremendous growth and healing, especially if we do this process consciously. If we don’t do these relationships consciously, our adult relationships can wound or re-wound us as much as we received in our dysfunctional childhood.
Even the Experts can Get Stuck
Harville and Helen have been teaching this information for some time. The irony was that they struggled greatly in their own personal relationship. At some deep level, they knew something was missing.
They were to the point that they were ready to file for divorce but decided to give it one more shot. Out of that frustration came something incredible: a simple and effective way to communicate with another person no matter who they are or what they have to say.
I’m not sure if it was divine intervention or just the desire to solve their relationship issues. Still, they turned a colossal corner This desire for something better resulted in creating a fantastic program and a simple process for honouring each other, especially in intimate relationships.
A new and Powerful Model was Created – Safe Conversations
It came down to this vast needed skill- a safe way of communicating and doing so safely and effectively. The trials and tribulations resulted in a simple and powerful communication process called “Safe Conversations!”
Since its inception, they and their growing team of followers have taught this great process to tens of thousands of people, both in-person and online.
The Power of Safe Conversations
The consensus is that Utilizing Safe Conversation Results in Improved:
individual and family economics,
increased achievement and performance in school.
On the other side there is less:
anxiety and depression,
addictions such as alcohol and drug use,
crime and communities,
break down the family,
absenteeism in the workplace.
Votes from participants
Statistically, 98% of people would recommend the process to their friends,
84% called it powerful and transformational,
90% saw their relationships improve,
98% said it is inspiring and life-changing.
What makes Safe Conversations powerful is in how it is structured It is a simple and highly usable form of Communication where both parties get heard and feel respected in the process.
Each person takes a turn communicating with the other person. The speaker has the floor and continues uninterrupted until they have gotten their point across and feel 100% heard. The process is respectful and inclusive.
The Safe Conversation framework supports a person to communicate even their deepest fears and concerns, knowing that
a) they will be fully heard;
b) that they will not be interrupted
c) that their partner is utilizing active listening, and
d) that they will be safe and their point of view will be honoured and respected.
This simple and effective process facilitates excellent connections, dramatically improves relationships, can be used with virtually anybody in any situation, from romantic relationships to the workplace.
Safe Conversations is life-changing and is quite simple:
Effective Communication is an art and something that very few people master. It is more complex and yet, at the same time, can be solved through simple solutions. A by-product is that far too many relationship-based problems are a by-product of our sloppy communication process.
Most people want to get their point across to another while having the experience of being understood. This desire happens virtually anywhere, from intimate relationships to discussions at the office. It is a common day-to-day occurrence that we all do, one where many people fail dramatically at a crucial part of the communication process. This breakdown can trigger unmet childhood needs and result in damaging the relationship.
To effectively transform your life, it is essential to learn communication skills that support you and everyone in your life. A key component is achieved by incorporating “active listening.”
If you want to transform your life, help your family, friends, colleagues, I highly recommend checking out “Safe Conversations. If you learn their simple communication process, it will quickly improve your life. You can find the “Safe Conversations” program can be found HERE.
Incorporate this simple communication method into your life as quickly as possible (and then teach it to everybody you know.)
Already separated from your Partner??
Here is a great way to get your x back so you can use Safe Conversations, Go HERE
Learn safe conversations and watch your life get better and better from here!