Four Simple Steps for Highly Effective Communication

Isn’t it amazing how hard we have to work at communicating well?

I often throw up my hands and think, “God, does it really have to be this difficult?”Whether it is working through a misunderstanding with my husband, negotiating through a conflict among my children, or responding thoughtfully to a coaching client who’s trying to figure out her next best step, communicating well is an essential skill that requires intentionality, humility, and perseverance.

FOUR SIMPLE STEPS FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

 

Although words have always come easily to me, I’ve not always been good at communicating well. My thoughts would often race ahead, striving to find the perfect next thing to say. Can you relate? Or I would react defensively, wanting to prove my point and win the discussion. Maybe that’s why my mother thought I would have been a great lawyer.

Honestly, it was through taking the life coach training course, which I now teach, that I began to see the errors of my ways in my communication style and gain the kind of techniques necessary for highly effective communication.

Could this be something you might benefit from too?

[clickToTweet tweet=”The way we communicate will either bring life to our relationships or make matters worse.” quote=”The way we communicate will either bring life to our relationships or make matters worse.”]

Maybe you’ve experienced the downfalls of poor communication in your own life. It’s a simple biblical principle we tend to push aside all too often. It’s as though we feel we must express our emotions without regard for the impact, believing the lie that sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never harm us. Can anything be more untrue or unbiblical?

Our words will either be an encouragement to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:15,29) or they have the power to defile (Matthew 15:18).  Maybe the scariest truth is that we are held accountable for every word we speak.

Our words will either give life or death (Proverbs 18:12). Which will they be for you?

They will either be an encouragement to those who hear them (Ephesians 4:15,29) or a source of destruction (Matthew 15:18). So thinking about how we speak isn’t simply a good idea, it’s one we ought to take seriously because we’re held accountable for every word that comes out of our mouth.

Matthew 12:36 (NIV)

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

But being a good communicator isn’t simply about choosing the right words. It’s actually about being a good listener and learning how to ask questions that draw a person out while giving them a safe place to be heard, seen, and known. Yes, I’m talking about the art of life coaching so beautifully played out in every single meaningful relationship!

Highly effective communication is rooted in listening with curiosity about the state of both hearts involved.

Listening isn’t always about the other person. It’s also about you and the state of your own heart.

Luke 6:45 NLT

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.

Your heart matters much because that’s where your words are shaped and formed and take on a life of their own.

If you have stored up in your heart unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, shame, anger, insecurity, your words will be laced with a toxicity that will lead to regrettable communication.

I’ve seen this reality manifest in my own life — it’s what drove me to get counseling, which led to tremendous healing. Dealing with my heart is how God changed me from the inside out and changed my legacy. And it’s what preceded the steps to becoming a life coach and effective communicator.

And so, it’s from a place experiencing a healed heart while heeding the biblical truths about our words and the life coaching skills I’ve gained, that I’ve come up with a way to help us remember four key communication principles that lead to highly effective communication.

The Four “Ts” of Communication

As you find yourself in the middle of a conflict with a loved one, colleague, or child, consider these four communication principles — and the questions that go with each — to help you to decide what to say, when to say it, and how to respond.  As a mom, take the time to teach these principles to your kids and encourage them to put them into practice as they work towards getting along with their siblings and friends.

Communication is a skill we all have to work on daily, so take heart, my friend, if you don’t do this perfectly. It’s the effort God is pleased with, as He calls us to live in peace with everyone, if at all possible (Hebrews 12:14). I know it is hard {ahem, really hard}, but it will be worth the investment of your time!

I do pray these four tips for improving communication will be a blessing to you.

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