We are rapidly losing the art of communication. The very trait which separates us from the animals is about to be our downfall. James Robinson said, “Much of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.” But fear not; there are ways we can rally and save humanity. First and foremost, ask yourself: Do I communicate to serve myself
or do I communicate to serve others
In order to get to the heart of the issue, we have to go the heart
. Communication is simply the golden rule. It’s part etiquette, part ethics, and part just being a decent human being. That means delineating boundaries for our emotional side so we can all play in the sandbox nicely without fights breaking out.
You can’t expect people to see your point of view if you can’t see theirs. All too often we are polarized by our tendency to see communication as battle: somebody wins, somebody loses; too bad, so sad; in your face; suck it up, butter cup. We seem to forget that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. And if we don’t get comfortable floating in the fluidity of humanity, we’re sunk.
Opinions are not a competitive sport. They are deeply held convictions. So here’s a quick and easy way to assess if you are practicing great communication skills or if you are just being a horse’s arse.
SOB: Self-Oriented Behavior. Let’s face it: A lack of compassion is downright distasteful and has nothing to do with who or what is right and wrong. If you constantly feel the need to seize
and to preach the “ministry of me” then you are an SOB communicator.
SOBs exhibit the following traits in their communication:
- Seeking sympathy
- Clowning or mocking
Basically, you view communication as a battlefield. Your level of indignation grants you the right to go from silence to thermonuclear in your content and tone. You have a hard time with dissenting points of view because you assume anyone who doesn’t agree with you is a bigot. This type of behavior has been amplified by technology and mainstream media which grants unfiltered, unchecked, and ample coverage to the unending parade of present-day poltroons.
Now let’s look at the flip side of the coin: How can we best communicate with one another in a way that affords the respect and civility that binds us in deeper and more knowledgeable ways? Here are the ways to win friends and influence people and ensure that you can talk to someone’s heart, first thus guaranteeing an open and honest dialogue sure to leave both parties enlightened and valued. This doctrine is at the core of the ministry of “others.”
ESP: Emotional, Spiritual, Personal. It’s like Extrasensory Perception on steroids. They say it ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it. Truer words were never spoken. The manner in which we connect is the most important factor in communication. If we do it well, the details are superfluous. I can completely disagree with everything you say, but still totally love and respect you as a person. The person who can accomplish this is a leader of unparalleled magnitude and a true uniter, not a divider.
ESPs exhibit the following traits in their communication:
- The Golden Rule
- Peace maker
Just as a picture is worth a thousand words, a personal touch is worth a thousand likes. The ESP communicator also understands that strongly held convictions do not necessarily classify someone as a “hater.” They respect the other person’s emotions and personal beliefs. Communication isn’t some sort of Darwinian survival of the fittest. The ESP communicator firmly believes that we are not to trample one another out of existence with the butts of our heels and the slices of our tongues, but rather to be kind to one another, especially
when we disagree.
Beautiful people see beauty; hateful people see hate. Someone once said, “Those who spend their time looking for the faults in others have no time to correct their own.” Once we get serious about discussing and not just cussing, we’ll take our communication to a new realm.
Be kind to humankind because we’re all we’ve got.