Are you tired of the senseless turn conversations take when you are socialising or doing business? Do you often feel empty when exiting a conversation, like nothing important was shared or learned? Are you aching to have a richer, deeper connection when conversing?
The benefits of mindful communication are many; from gaining a deeper understanding, to learning to opening up and sharing. And they are equally important in both personal and professional spheres. By simply being present, living the current moment, really seeing the person you are talking to and showing a real interest in what they are saying can change the entire form of a conversation and hence the outcome to that exchange.
Be aware that mindful communication does not just start the moment you decide to flip the ON button. It takes practice. Initially by loving yourself, being appreciative of your own story and having compassion with both yourself and others. Only when your communication is an expression of your loving energy, does it become truly mindful, and can create a real connection with others.
Here are some tips as to how to start becoming a mindful communicator:
1. Shift the focus of your communication from “you” to “them”
By making the conversation about them, little insecurities we have about not being good enough diminish as our attention is focused on what they have to say and the connection is created by really listening and by showing true interest.
2. Find inner peace
Only when we are at peace with ourselves (so not full of anger, regret & bitterness that our own problems take precedence) can we truly listen and give the gift of peace and serenity to others. A still mind can do wonders for others.
3. Build a connection
We create connections with the people we are talking to by showing love and care for the person. This is not done by affectionate gestures but instead by understanding them. We understand other humans by putting ourselves in their shoes, using our own experiences of pain, difficulty or sadness to understand theirs and in this way a connection is created which results in meaningful communication and not just chit chatter.
4. Be yourself
In the words of the great Dave Grohl whom I also quote on my website as they just resonate so well “ no one is you and that is your power” There is absolute truth in these words and you need to remember them as you go into a conversation, whether it be in a social or business situation. The confidence that comes with the inner peace created by knowing and being happy with yourself is so powerful.
By focusing on our breathing when we are faced with a difficult situation or uncomfortable questions we are able to calm our nerves and think clearly. Practising breathing techniques to master this art is a worthwhile exercise and it goes a long way to help us realise we are more than our emotions and most of all can control our responses.
In my career advising sessions we focus on the confidence and self awareness aspects of individuals trying to find balance and focus on their strengths. Meaningful communication and being mindful in our conversations can change forever the relationship we have with ourselves and with others and as great leaders these traits can make the difference to our teams as well as to our careers.