I heard about a woman who went to an Attorney for advice. He asked her, “What’s the problem? Does he have a grudge?” The woman looked at him and said, “Yes. We have a 2-car garage.” The attorney said, “No madam. Does he have any grounds?” The woman replied, “Oh, yes sir! We have 5-acres!” Frustrated, he continues to extract more information. “No lady…does he beat you up?” She quickly answered – “Oh, no sir! I’m the first up every morning.”
By now, the exasperated Attorney starts to show his irritation. He then says, “LADY! What IS the problem? Why does your husband want to divorce you?” She answered him, “Oh! He says we don’t communicate!”
I laughed at this illustration. I could identify with both the Attorney and the lady. There have been times, where during the course of my conversation with my husband, he has interpreted me one way and I projected something entirely different. The words that I communicated were different to the words his ears were hearing and his mind understood them to be.
What God desires is for us to reach beyond a world of “myself” and “my blessings” and to go on in the Christian life as a blessing to others.
How can I be a blessing to other women? How do I be a blessing to my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my students, my colleagues, my mother, my sister…those whom I have an influence on and those whom God places throughout my journey?
During the course of my life, God has really brought me through some rough patches in the road to understanding why I reacted in certain situations. He has shone marvelous wisdom onto my stepping stones of misunderstanding. Through my daily walk with God, He continues to shine the spotlight of truth and clear a pathway for loving others.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
Misunderstanding someone can be as simple as your ability or inability to transfer information clearly. What you are thinking and endeavoring to explain to someone can be unintentionally misinterpreted. This happens on a regular basis with husbands and wives, parents with children, employers and employees, or a doctor with a patient – just to mention a few!
Conflicts often involve some misunderstanding. Given our tendency to hear what we expect to hear, it is very easy for people to misunderstand each other.
I can’t tell you how many times I would ask my daughter when she was a baby, “Belinda, did you do that?” As I walked toward her, she would lift up an object and say, “ta!” Her motive was to distract me from any potential conflict and to move away from what represented pain – discipline! Her "ta" was to show me something and not for me to show her my disapproval.
Whilst there can be so many variables on why we react to the perceived words of others and why we don’t communicate what we feel however, at core level, all of us want to be loved and understood.
On the other hand, very few of us have the ability and/or are willing to listen to the other person. Instead, we can hardly wait for the other person to be quiet so we can get our point across. Unfortunately, we miss the point!
In business, there are so many courses on developing your power of empathic listening. I am currently studying one from Harvard University. They teach you how to listen in volatile settings, how to take information from others while remaining non-judgmental and empathic (good luck with that one), acknowledging the person in a way that invites communication to continue – interesting when working with people who have had an abusive background.
Further study is excellent for discipline and building character however, the more I study the more I am thrown into studying God’s Word as the ultimate reference and guide. My mind settles into a much clearer and practical understanding when I read God’s wisdom on understanding others. Everything else seems gobbly gob in comparison!
There is no greater mind than God’s mind. As the Creator of our grey matter and the perfect Auditor and Orator, I choose sound practical Christianity to base my life on. I allow His wisdom to govern my thinking. Why would you settle for less?
Facts about Good Communication
- Facts – the facts are the truth and information.
- Feelings – How do we feel about anything? Men are in touch with their thoughts and women are in touch with their feelings. In general, women are emotional and sensitive. Men are factual and logical. If you want to know how a man is feeling you first have to listen to his thinking. If you want to know how a woman is feeling you first have to listen to her emotions to understand how she is thinking. The difference can be striking.
- Perceptions or Perceptual Reality – This is the conclusions I form based on the facts I am feeling. People form their reality from their perceptions. This is where we have a problem. We do not accommodate other’s perceptions. Either we bridge the difference or we insist on the other meeting us in our perception. We think everyone should have the same perception I have.
Children have different perceptions. Everyone accommodates a child’s perception. Have you ever played with a child – I mean really stepped into their world?
My husband steps into our son’s world on a daily basis. He is the ultimate daddy! Ruby is a testimony to this and now our son Caleb is a testimony to this. He is a man who knows how to get into the world of another and selflessly give of himself. He is our hero!
For hours, his role play with our son is Tonto and you guessed it – Caleb is ‘The Lone Ranger.’ My words will never create the scene as they should; My husband gets so into Caleb’s world that Caleb shows us the land he will purchase one day for Silver – his horse. He wears his hat, mask, guns, and boots to the store every time we go. We don’t balk at his suggestion to do so…this is part of Caleb’s heroic world – a world perceived as great and his world is accepted by us. It’s a safe-place for Caleb to be what represents who he is – The Lone Ranger!
They have a wonderful conversation every time. If you are going to communicate with a child you must crawl into their world and unite with their perceptions. I’ve seen grown men talking to little children and you would think the child has a PhD.
The assumption is that everybody with an adult body has adult perceptions. That’s not true!There are so many reasons for women never reaching their potential. They live their life under the pressure of other people’s expectations. The only problem with this is that they never find the window of satisfaction.
You will never find the window of satisfaction until you begin the pathway to your potential and live your life under acceptance not expectation. You will never find a window of satisfaction until you learn how to have heart-to-heart communication with God. We were created for God's pleasure!
People can expect things of you but not the expectation that you could not fulfill what is expected of you. What happens when we do not fulfill the expectations of others? Ask yourself this; how do you react when others don’t fulfill the expectations that you have of them?
We all have different perceptions formed from experience, knowledge, education, and baggage. How do we bridge the gap of perceptions?
Until we learn how to do that - we will never have heart-to-heart communications.
What is Heart-to-Heart Communication?
Communicating heart-to-heart is a deliberate and decisive thought – a thinking to understand someone else’s thinking. I’m going to do everything I can to understand you!
To Be Continued…
I Love You,