There is nothing more frustrating than communication breakdown and yet we all know that communication is essential for everything. Work, relationships, parenting, coaching, teaching, pretty much everything. We know it, but here is the kicker….in order for communication to happen there needs to be both speaking and listening. At some point along the way we all figured out an art form of speaking. The problem is that not all of us learned how to listen.
What!?! I know how to listen! Sure, we can all hear things, but not everyone has learned to listen. Any parent can give you of an example of the time you asked/told your child to pick something up and the child’s response is “It is not my fault! I didn’t do it.” They heard what you said, but they did not listen. The parent said “pick up the mess” and the child heard “this is your fault.” I wish I could say that this is something reserved to the frustrations of parent/child relationships, but it is not. We speak and don’t listen in marriages, friendships, and professional relationships all the time.
Knowing that we do this is part of the battle. The more difficult part is doing the work of listening to what the other party is saying and allowing the words to stand as spoken. It can go a long way to repeat what was said without commentary when communication has all but completely broken down between adults.
Doing this can help us communicate better, but it is a “two-way street” so both parties have to be engaged in the moment otherwise there is no way to meet in the middle.
If you suffer under the weight of broken communication in your life I am praying for you today.
May the God who reconciled us all through the Christ bring about restoration to your life and may God’s peace give you rest!