So many families struggle with effective communication. It shouldn’t be so hard. Here’s what I’ve found to be the biggest killers of communication:
When it comes right down to it, our ego causes so many of our problems. We want to be “right,” we want to be liked, we want to think we have the best ideas! All of that is our ego tricking us into bad behavior.
Stop worrying about all those things and start demonstrating some humility. Who cares who is right? At the end of the day you may be want to be “right” but it may not matter because no one wants to be around you!
Realize life is more fulfilling when you can learn to see and appreciate your own faults and the shortcomings of those around you. Start practicing “checking your egos at the door” and you will start to be better communicators and family members.
Getting Emotionally Hijacked
The rational part of your brain literally gets hijacked by your primitive brain. Somebody in the family says something to you and you “lose it” and say things that cause more harm.
The good news is that if you can simply notice what’s happening and take a few seconds to let your brain cool down, you can come up with a healthier, more productive response.
You can even learn to have a few standard responses that leave your options open. A couple of my favorites are: “that’s interesting” or “thanks for sharing.” That can be a genuine response that can help neutralize a potentially heated situation.
Bottom line — don’t let others “trigger” you. Rise above it.
We’ve all done it. It’s even easier and more common with family. You are sitting there, nodding your head and not really listening.
We’ve all been on the other side of that. It can be very annoying to be taking your time and energy to speak and have the feeling the other person really isn’t hearing what you’re saying!
On the flip side, you know how great it feels when someone actually listens to what you have to say. We all want to be heard.
Learn to practice “mirroring back” what the other person said. Repeating back is a great way to hold yourself accountable to listening and helps the other person be responsible for what they said.
Poor communication habits can really hurt your family. New skills can be learned if there is a genuine commitment to improvement. Practice is the key to all lasting improvement.
“Learn to Communicate in Ways that Actually Work” is one of the 25 simple exercises you and your family can use in the Family Business Playbook. Email me and I’ll send a free copy of this exercise so you and your family can improve your communication today.
Pete Walsh is a demanding, courageous and playful Master Coach in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the founder of Peak Workout Business Coaching and the Family Business Performance Center. He can be reached at email@example.com.