Exercise and eating are nice. But being better at conversations will help any every area of your life.
The only places good communication skills don’t help are with:
- Someone with hostile intentions
- People in pain
- Upset kids
I heard some anthropology show say “we don’t raise our kids as much as civilize them”. Kids don’t have filters on their mouths or brakes on their behavior. They do anything and everything without thinking about it beforehand. It’s hard to talk to someone who’s crying while you’re holding the cookie they just started eating off of the floor.
Anyhow. Nurses on a trauma unit. School bus dispatchers. Co-parents of athlete musicians. Third dates. Thanking your co-workers when you win awards. Being good at these roles in life require a monumental amount of consistently great communication. Great communication can happen in any area of your life.
Sales people and teachers have to be some of the best communications. This is because they realize that communication happens across multiple conversations. A salesperson may talk to someone 15 times before a big sale. A teacher has to space math lessons on a single topic across weeks. They understand that good communication takes preparation.
The better you are at listening to people clearly, the better your life will be. When you listen clearly, the more you can help them get what they want. The better their life will be. And, if you know what they want, you can advocate for them when they’re not around or find it difficult to express themselves.
Here are four tips to prepare for your next important conversations
- Review the last three times you spoke with them
- Listen to see if what they want is immediate, soon, or later
- Imagine the joy they felt as kids rolling down a hill - not super relevant, but we don’t think about the joy of other people enough, and we should …
- Imagine that you satisfying this thing with them will move them closer to recapturing that joy, if only for a brief moment
Getting better at communication is more about creating a better future than about clarity in the present.
Good vibes only