You're on the way to the airport. You get on the plane with a book that you've been planning to read for quite some time. As you open your book, you glance at the person next to you. A few minutes later, you are asked a question, and you reluctantly answer. You lower your book a bit to be polite, and after a few minutes you find yourself putting your book down and engaging in a conversation, although with a lack of enthusiasm. Then, the person next to you, let's call him John, makes an observation about you that's quite perceptive and sensitive. You start to become curious about who John is, and in the course of the conversation he tells you of an experience he has only shared with a few people. You let John know that you have had the same experience. By now, you're totally engaged and listening to every word he says. You notice every nuance in the inflection of his voice and the way he moves. Time seems to stand still, and the next thing you know, the plane lands. You say good-bye to the kindred soul you have just met.
Wouldn't you love to have these experiences more often? You feel heard, and everything seems possible. It is communication at its highest level, and it's a lost art. You can have these experiences more often if you embrace the four fundamental truths of communication.
- The first truth is to know that what we all want on a deeper level is the ability to connect with one another, to touch each other's soul. Unfortunately, too many of our conversations are just an exchange of ideas and information, and we very rarely penetrate the surface. Most of our focus is on how we are going to respond to what is being said instead of listening. When we know that what the other person really wants is connection, there is common ground on which to build. With this foundation we can build relationships that can deepen and empower those involved.
- The second truth is to know that listening involves much more than just listening to the words. It is tuning in to the energy beyond the words. It is understanding the needs and feelings of the other person. It is about being totally engaged and at the same time being in the rhythm of life. Yes, it takes a lot of energy, but you will be energized by what you get back. Imagine living in a world where you are truly listening and fully engaged.
- The third truth is to know that you must take responsibility for the quality of your communication. Because we all have long-standing attitudes and beliefs, we sometimes find ourselves trying to convince the other person of our viewpoints. Being right then becomes the goal of the interaction rather than communication, and the next thing you know, you are in a full-fledged argument. Just think of what happens when you discuss politics or religion. Is being right more important than experiencing one of those magical moments?
- The fourth truth is that communication is a process and an art. Being a masterful communicator doesn't happen overnight, but it starts with the intention to experience more connection in your busy life. Just like with other art forms, for example, dancing or music, there is a natural ebb and flow in the learning cycle. As your commitment deepens to this process, you will notice that you are having more frequent glimpses of the magic that is possible in your life. The ultimate communication occurs when you are able to touch each other's soul and share who you are. This newfound magic then becomes the gateway to a more fulfilling life.
At our core level we all have the same human needs and desires. We want to know that we matter and that our life has meaning and purpose. We also have the need to love and to be loved. When we accept and recognize that we all have these human needs and desires, we realize that we are part of one human family. When we work together as one, what is possible in our lives, communities, and the world expands.
Embracing the four fundamental truths of communication and applying them to your daily life is a gift to all involved. It is a way to deepen the connection in your life. As a way of reaching out to others and connecting with them, please share this article with the friends in your circle, and let them know about the advantages of being on the journey. Part of my journey has been listening and learning from all the teachers who have blessed my life. Hopefully, I learn from everyone and every experience that I have. Your suggestions and comments contribute to my learning and help me to expand and evolve. Keep them flowing. Journey on.
Mark Susnow is a professional speaker, group facilitator, and coach who brings a balanced and impressive background to his work. A former trial attorney for 30 years and a musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Mark delivers customized presentations, inspiring others to find more meaning and balance in their lives. To find out more about Mark and his services, be sure to visit his Web site at http://www.inspirepossibility.com , or call (415) 453-5016.
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