Updated: Aug 26
How does this impact our relationships and life?
Why Is Mindful Communication Important? (2022)
How does this impact our relationships and life?
I. What is communication?
II. What is effective communication?
III. Entering into a communication
IV. Mindful Listening
V. Mindful Speech
VI. Emotional Intelligence skills
In this article I will be discussing the difference between communication and effective communication. I believe that the most effective form of communication is Mindful Communication.
Since graduating with a BSc Honours Degree in Psychology I have experimented with numerous work experiences. However, I found my true passion in 2014 when I discovered coaching in the UK Justice Sector. It was there and then that I discovered the power of coaching and how transformational this can be for people’s lives. Using a mixture of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness approaches, I truly believe we can unlock the unlimited potential of the self. For more about me please visit: About Me | Chloe Mepham BSc Certified Life Coach
What is communication?
Communication is an exchange of information between two or more parties.
What is effective communication?
Effective communication is when a valuable exchange of relevant information is shared without judgment and provides both parties with insight into themselves and their issues. Both parties will benefit from this interaction and leave feeling enlightened, informed, and heard.
Entering into a communication
Due to the regularity with which we communicate we can form habits. Habits although not necessarily negative will impact our routines and behaviours. However, all too often we can develop habits that promote convenience but detract from our abilities to perform tasks. Have you ever commuted the same route somewhere often and forgotten your journey?
We all have our own values, beliefs, and opinions. This is what makes us unique and who we are. It is a positive in so many instances. However, the likelihood of two people sharing exactly the same values, beliefs, and opinions is highly unlikely. We all have differences, no matter how minor, meaning there will likely be differences in our perspectives. Often when communicating we will default into thinking that we share the same perspective. Although there may be similarities or close relationships between perspectives, there will also be differences.
It is important when entering a communication to be mindful of these differences. The way that we see or feel about a situation will potentially be different to who we are communicating with. Self-awareness of this can provide the foundation for a more effective communication.
It is also important that when we enter a communication we are in an appropriate mindset. When we feel tired or over emotional ourselves our ability to communicate will likely be hindered. Everyone is different, so I don’t mean to generalise this, but in my experience the majority of the time this will be the case. To read more on the relationship between emotion, performance, and communication visit: How Emotions Affect Performance and Communication (2022) (chloemephambsc.com)
In order to effectively communicate, we need to effectively listen. Listening is a vital part of communication. Often, we will plan ahead and think of what we want to say in response to what someone else has said. This is to be expected as this is how verbal communication works. However, if the person has not finished their thought or sentence, we will not be able to plan ahead as the delivery is not yet complete. If, at this point we have already planned what we want to say, we are in effect attempting to read the mind of the person delivering their message. In essence, we are assuming that we share the same perspective. Have you ever known what you want to say in a conversation before the other person has finished speaking?
Differences in perspectives can be highly valuable in communication. Offering our own perspective is certainly valuable when performed with tact and consideration. However, we cannot give the message due consideration until we have heard it in its entirety. Have you ever been delivering your own perspective only to hear it aloud and change your opinion?
To read more on the benefits of Mindful Listening please visit: The Benefits of Mindful Listening (chloemephambsc.com)
Once the other person(s) has concluded the delivery of their message, we can then consider how we want to respond. This is advantageous for both parties as the speaker has relayed their perspective, and the recipient has all the information that the orator wants to relay.
It also provides the opportunity to consider not only the words spoken, but the tone, body language, and any potential omissions or inconsistencies. I am not suggesting that everyone we communicate with can’t be trusted to tell the truth. However, sometimes we will lie to ourselves to make difficult situations easier to comprehend and not realise it. Have you ever noticed a discrepancy in something you thought as you relayed it to someone else? To read more on using mindful listening to interpret others visit: Using Mindful Listening to Support Your Ability to Identify Emotions in Others (chloemephambsc.com)
Addressing inconsistences in someone’s words or behaviours is something that requires high levels of tact and consideration. It will require expressing empathy to be performed effectively. In order to express empathy, we first need to know the situation from their perspective in its entirety. Even if we were not to challenge someone’s words or behaviours, expressing empathy when someone is delivering an emotive message is preferable as it demonstrates understanding their perspective. This understanding acknowledges their situation and their response. In response the speaker will likely feel validated.
When we communicate mindfully, we are developing self-awareness. This self-awareness is invaluable in elevating our communication skills. We become more aware of the words we select, the tone of our voice, and our own body language. All mindful practices develop self-awareness, for more on the benefits of mindfulness visit: The Benefits of Mindfulness (chloemephambsc.com)
For more on the benefits of communicating mindfully visit: https://www.chloemephambsc.com/post/the-benefits-of-mindful-communication
Emotional Intelligence skills
Developing self-awareness is key to developing emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is generally the ability to identify and manage our own emotions and identify and respond appropriately to other people’s emotions. It is a skill that requires high levels of self-awareness.
There are many methods to develop emotional intelligence skills and coaching can be highly effective for this. Mindfulness skills can also be developed with the use of coaching.
To read more on developing emotional intelligence visit my Life Coach Blog here: Blog | Chloe Mepham BSc Certified Life Coach
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