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Are you a good communicator?

Most times when I ask people if the understand what it means to communicate, the first answer I get is yes. Let's start by understanding what it means to communicate effectively in a marriage or even a relationship?

Personally, effective communication means when I have understood what my spouse is trying to tell me the way my spouse intends for me to understand it. So, that simply means, if my spouse is telling me about a rough day, am able to place myself in their position as much as I can and offer empathy.

Communication is two ways and never one sided. Most times, I find out people often listen to respond rather than listening to understand. Hence why when someone says something, because we have not listened to understand, we translate what they have said in a completely different way.This at times can result to confusion and misunderstanding. The lack of this vital skill is a killer in most marriages and relationship. Listening to understand and listening to respond are two opposite things.When you listen to understand, you are giving the person your full attention, you are not rushing them, you are not condemning them, you are trying your best to see things from their own point of view. Listening to respond on the other hand simply means that before the person alters one or two sentences, you have already drawn a conclusion and passed your judgement.

Most times we misunderstand our spouse in various areas simply because we are not making effort to listen and understand them. When we don't listen to understand, there's a communication breakdown and things usually go wrong.

When you need to discuss an issue with your spouse, try and communicate your point, feelings, etc as effectively as possible, this will in turn enable your spouse to understand you. Communication should not be done with parables - make your point straight and simple.Most times, we assume that people understand what we have said maybe simply because we were emotional while talking to them, no, there should be no assumptions in communication.

You can improve your communication with your spouse in the following ways,

a) Endeavour to speak clearly and calmly as you can.

b) Be specific with your discussion, don't assume they understand you, spell the issue out clearly.

c) Avoid unnecessary distractions when you are communicating with your spouse - no phones, tv etc.

d) Avoid yelling when communicating with your spouse, no one wants to be spoken to in a disrespectful way.

e) Communication is better done when both spouse are in a relaxed mood, so timing is key.

f) Avoid interrupting your spouse unnecessarily while they are communicating with you.

g) When you are done speaking, do ask them if they really understand you.

h) Talking can be so easy but communication needs skills. Communicate more and talk less.

And if you are the one that's been spoken to, make a great deal of effort to listen to understand. When effective communication is achieved, people feel happy,valued and issues get resolved better and in a timely manner.

Make your spouse feel happy and valued by been a good listener and an effective communicator.

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