On Becoming a Good Communicator
“I love people and I listen”
I must admit I am not a very good listener. The quote above is a positive affirmation that has been helping me change this in myself. But what really helped me become a more aware listener and more empathic to others was helping my wife as she recovered from her difficult trachea surgery.
The thing is she couldn’t talk for almost a month. In the hospital she had her chin sewed down to her chest so as not to damage the repair of her trachea. Then after her 10 days in the hospital she was on mandatory voice rest for another 2 plus weeks. She had a pad and would write down her thoughts and comments but of course that is very slow and cumbersome and I could see that growing frustration each day. I found myself trying to figure out what she was thinking since I knew she didn’t want or have the energy to write everything down, so I constantly found myself trying to see the world from her eyes.
Even though my wife wasn’t speaking, this need to pay closer attention made me a more aware listener and because she couldn’t write out every word she wanted to speak she had to be more particular about the words she chose. Because of this our communication became more valuable and we paid closer attention to what the other person had to say .
After this experience I couldn’t help but think about how this might help people who are having relationship problems. I think that if one or both people agreed to not speak a word for, let’s say, a few days or even a week and the only way they could communicate was by writing their thoughts and comments down, I believe it would be incredibly good therapy and help people solve a lot of problems. Why not give it a shot if you are having any struggles with someone. They don’t have to agree to the no talking rules because this experiment can be carried out by just one person. Do it and see if you don’t become a better communicator.