Communication: On the Same Page

It's important to be "on the same page" with those we love. Normally, we find out if we're connecting ~ on the same wave length ~ as we communicate.

For example, I once asked my husband, "What shirt are you going to wear, Honey?"

"The Blue one," he replied.

Now, if you look in my husband's closet, you'll see various shades of blue: sky blue, robin-egg blue, baby blue, Persian blue, powder blue, periwinkle, sapphire, royal blue, navy, and indigo. Which blue, indeed!

But to Bob, they're all just "blue." I would be upset about this, but I've discovered it's pretty much a man thing, unless a man is into fashion design. Men also do not understand the concept of one style of shoes in four colors. Black and brown shoes are just fine with them.

Men and women are different in more than their physical make-up. That makes communication so interesting!

Pam Farrel and I wrote about this in our book, LOL with God: "How do we speak the same language? We don't! We learn to adjust, pray for wisdom, and try to explain things in terms of the other person's perspective."

We learn to speak with respect, humility, and patience with the goal of understanding. (And when understanding doesn't come, there is still a response ~ a charitable spirit. As a magnet on my refrigerator says, "Women are made to be loved, not understood.")

Good communication takes practice, and we need to allow time to communicate. We need to slow down, think of the other person's needs, and plan for times to share and listen without interrupting (Prov. 18:13). We need to observe the other person, too, because communication is more than words. Watch for the nonverbal elements of conversation: facial expressions, the movement of the body, etc.

When we speak, we must speak truthfully, but with love (Eph. 4:15a), because once words pass our lips, we can't take them back. So guard your lips (Prov. 21:23; Prov. 14:3). Timing and appropriateness are important, too. "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" (Prov. 25:11).

The disciple James had excellent advice concerning communication (1:19): "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

Which of these points is the most difficult for you ~ earnest listening, patient speaking, or a kind, charitable spirit?

For more about communication, see "Carefully-Chosen Words."


wysiwygail said...

As a visual designer, I learned that there is a reason men see colors differently than women. We gals have more cones in our retinas, so it is a physiological fact that we see more subtlety in colors than guys. This is also the reason why men are 20 times more likely than women to be color blind.

More detailed geeky explanation here: http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2006/07/do_women_perceive_color_differ_1.php

dmwwrites4jc said...

Thanks for the clarification, Gail. So it's not just my hubby being "guy weird" ... it's more like he is "guy wired"! (God made him that way.)

Marja said...

Earnest listening... for sure! I notice I listen, but not really... I'm thinking other thoughts at the same time, even while nodding in agreement with the speaker... I struggle to find genuine interest in the ramblings of others... I wish people would use less words and be more specific... but maybe that is just me. I will get there, I know.
Great post Dawn, good thinking!

lolwithgod.com said...

Marja, I've discovered that creative people are often distracted when they listen... trying to figure out how to "use" what they're hearing, or how to answer in a creative, helpful way instead of just listening to another person's heart.