March 10, 2010

Power of Speech: simple tips to improve your communication skills

Relationships. Be it in love, in friendship, in politics. With c0-workers, with family, the relationship with yourself or for that matter our relationship with the divine, all relationships evolve directly from your present communication with yourself and others. Moment by moment ideally, but as it is, in our present society our communication usually resembles something like Babylon.

One of the activities that I engage on a regular basis is involved with linguistic work. Sometimes I find myself in a big room with at least 20 people (sometimes more) from all over the world. You name it: American, French, Italian, Russian, Israeli, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, English, Czechoslovakian, Polish, German, Spanish, Turkish, Swedish, Finnish, Argentinean, Vietnamese, Mexicans (like myself); all of these nationalities, and maybe I am forgetting a couple more, we all get together on a daily basis to work in this project or the other and one thing I can tell you with certainty is that the success in our communication is not as dependent on the language we speak as it is on HOW we choose to say the words.

Cultural differences may arise as trademarks of each nationality, for sure. Like when lunchtime arrives, you can  find the Indian giving their complete devotion to the homemade prepare exquisite Indian food, or you can see the Israelis sharing their lunches with each other or managing their time so they can eat together. You can find the Americans sitting at their desks, eating by the computer, usually a sandwich or fast food from the machine. Exceptions to the rule exists, yes, some Americans eat very healthy, some Indians eat by themselves, and some Mexicans mix with the Israelis because it feels like home in México, where we share the educational adage “to eat alone is unhealthy”. My point is: Yes, cultural peculiarities are easy to spot when you mix all those ethnicities in one place, but how do we accomplish to communicate effectively so the work at hand gets done? Well, it is easy, with CLARITY. Notice I said “how do we accomplish to commicate effectively”, sometimes we don’t accomplish it and sooner or later it becomes evident to all that the chaos is result of our misunderstanding of each other, which usually is a consequence of our miscommunication. and then it is obvious to all that the key element og good communication is clarity.

When clarity is not part of the communication, misunderstandings happen, and that is true even if you speak the same language and even if you are part of the same family, or if you live together, or if you are friends that love each other dearly. As sacred scriptures and spiritual practices emphasize ‘To say exactly what you mean is considered one of the three primary paths to enlightment’.

If you have been trying to communicate better with your spouse, with your husband, with your daughter, with your son, with your father, with your mother, with your boss, with your employee, with your co-worker, with the members of Congress, with your teacher, with your student, with your sisters and brothers, , with yourself…

1. Speak slowly

2.Enunciate clearly

3.Listen to yourself

4.Listen to others

5.Regard silence as a part of speech


Some things are Universal, communication is.



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