Last month I named the title of this blog post without fully knowing the guts of it. I usually have a good idea of what the post will be about and keep it close in thought. However, a lot has happened in the last month to affect my thinking on the topic. A more appropriate title might be “Writing With Integrity.” But I will stick with the original title and see how it goes.
I have found throughout my life, in my personal and work relationships, that communicating honestly and effectively are great skills to have and to develop. It seems that many people fear being questioned, judged, or even criticized for voicing their opinion, observation, or suggestion. And, if a person has a low self-esteem, this fear can be even worse.
In recent years, I have also realized that every single one of us are coming from a different place of communication. We grow up with different parents and extended family. We grow up in different family dynamics. We grow up in different cultures. And, well, we just each think differently. Taking all of this into consideration, communicating honestly and effectively can be a real challenge.
More recently, I have found myself pausing, as I listen to others speak, to gain a fuller understanding of what they are trying to express. Sometimes it is difficult to grasp what another is referring to when all the details are not stated in the discussion. Very often, a person will start a conversation thinking I know what they are conveying. Does this happen with you? I look at the person, wracking my memory banks, in an effort to figure out what is being said. Sometimes, more often than not, I delve further to see if I have a point of reference for their words. Then, finally, I start asking questions, so that I can find out how to help them and to reach a mutual agreement.
The effort invested in learning to communicate well can be time-consuming at first. However, over time, the time spent can be, and is often, time-saving. It may take a few tries to get to a place of mutual understanding and honesty, but the time and effort invested will be worth it. By learning to communicate in a way that is non-threatening, shows empathy, and brings comradery, you will gain confidence and your relationships will benefit by your open and honest approach.
What are ways you have effectively communicated with others? Where do you find yourself on a scale of 0-10, 0 being not at all and 10 being completely, when it comes to being unafraid to have open and honest communication with others? If there was one thing you could offer someone to improve their communicating with integrity, what would it be? What areas of your life do you think need improving when it comes to effective communication?
At the start of this post, I expressed that perhaps I should have retitled it, “Writing With Integrity.” I hope that you have found my writing to be integral, worthy of reflecting on, and possibly sharing with others. In my search for time to complete my next book, I have chosen the first and the third weeks of the month to do just that. Starting next month, I will hold off writing posts on the subject of integrity until after I have a finished project. Once my second book is either done or published, I will return to the subject of integrity on the first week of each month.
Next month, I will share on the subject of marriage. The subtopic is not firm in my mind or heart yet, but it will get there. In the meantime, keep reading, keep writing, keep inspiring and doing what you love to do. May the graces of Easter be yours today and always.
To check out my current book, “HONOR ONE ANOTHER: The ABCs of Embracing Our Spirit Within,” please visit my books page or my Amazon author page at amazon.com/author/virginia.alice.crawford or at Barnes & Noble.
If you haven’t get a copy of my book yet, please consider doing so – and also providing a review. It will go a long way to making a difference in the life of yours truly, an independent and fledgling author, and to all those future readers who might need some inspiration in this always-changing world of ours.
“Honest communication is built on truth and integrity and upon respect of the one for the other.” – Benjamin E. Mays