Using Communication Responsibly and Effectively
Before embarking on communicating with another, it is imperative to have an initial dialogue with one’s self. A suggested format for this follows.
Begin by identifying what you are feeling – in the words of Marshall Rosenberg – ask yourself, “What is alive within me?” Marshall Rosenberg is the inventor of “non-violent communication” — more on this later.
This is a big ask and requires we give ourselves time and attention. It also requires that we tolerate the potential discomfort of getting an unclear answer, or no answer at all.
While looking within can be new and frightening, the alternative is more precarious and illogical. How successfully can we obtain comfort and understanding outside of ourselves without first knowing what we are feeling or wanting?
Identify what you want to achieve by communicating your thoughts and feelings. Even if you don’t have perfect understanding of your own inner life, you may still be able to identify what would be helpful for you in the present moment – I need to be heard, I need to be held; I’m not quite clear why yet, but I’d like you to sit with me . . . .
3. Look closer
Is this the correct person to address? Is the message relevant here, in this context? (Eg. Am I complaining to someone who can address my concern or to someone who is powerless to do anything about them?)
After inquiring and centering within, you are prepared to venture without. In my next blog, I will discuss the steps that will help you with that bold venture.