So how do you improve communication skills? By utilizing a simple technique called mindful communication. Mindful communication is the balance of listening and speaking that helps develop deep, meaningful connections and relationships.
Listening mindfully is a way to truly hear someone else’s perspective. To do this effectively we must let go of our own agendas, ideas, distractions, and judgments. Mindful communication also includes speaking authentically or having 20 seconds of courage to share the real you.
In Oola, OolaBlockers or the things that hold us back such as Fear, Guilt, Anger, Self-Sabotage, Laziness, Envy, and Lack of Focus, tend to also withhold us from utilizing effective communication skills both in life and at work. Why? Well -because it leaves you feeling vulnerable. Let’s face it, we are fueled by what other people think which leads us to avoidance or negativity - which leads us right back to those OolaBlockers. When this negativity seeps into corporate culture, it only breeds more negativity and decreases productivity.
At work, especially in a dog-eat-dog industry or corporation, we often lose sight of OolaAccelerators (Gratitude, Love, Discipline, Integrity, Passion, Humility, Wisdom). OolaAccelerators are the things that lead us to joyful emotions, positivity, authentic connections, and creativity. Great leaders are grounded in OolaAccelerators and mindful communication. It is the way those leaders communicate their appreciation for our talents, complement our strengths, and increase our self-esteem which leads us to become better versions of ourselves and more passionate about our work. It is based on the theory that encouraging others far outweighs correction or criticism.
All of us come with a past- a story unlike anyone else’s. Instead of letting it define you- let’s leave the baggage at the door and focus on the now. Communicating from the present moment will help us listen and speak mindfully without allowing our vulnerabilities to get in the way.
Here are 3 mindful communication exercises to help you balance and grow.
1. Present Moment Statement: This exercise will help you become more aware of your experiences right now. Practice communicating from the present moment by stating what you are experiencing right now. Close your eyes and listen. You can say what you hear, smell, touch, taste, feel physically or mentally, etc. Then say “In the present moment I …” Do not go into details, just state the experience. For example, “In the present moment I feel tired and hear the humming of the A/C.” This exercise helps give you practice communicating in the moment.
2. Build Communication Skills: While having a conversation with someone, really listen by utilizing empathy, without making assumptions, and seeing it from their perspective. This requires you to put your own "stuff" aside to mindfully listening. After the conversation, answer the following questions … Did you suspend judgment? What did their body language tell you? Did it match what they were saying? What were they really saying? How do you think they felt? Can you relate to what they were saying?
3. Speak Authentically: This is where those OolaBlockers come into play- so be sure that the words you use are founded on honesty. Speak from a place of truth, and not from a place where the goal is to ‘win’. Begin by mindfully noticing your speech habits during a conversation. Take the time to construct the things you truly want to express. And before speaking consider: Is it necessary? Is it helpful? Is it true?
In Oola, we want you to be YOU. In OolaCorporate Training mindful communication is what separates good leaders from great leaders. A great leader communicates so effectively that their people, team, and business naturally thrives and are all successful. In short, communication helps you win at work and brings you closer to your #OolaLife.
I do hope that this article provided you with valuable resources on how to improve communication skills, not only for yourself but in your OolaField (career). You can access OolaCorporate Training’s Free Business Evaluation Test below to find out how well the leaders in your business or life are communicating.