Communication is one of the most difficult things about relationships—whether personal or professional. I know it may seem easy to hold everything in and compartmentalize, but I can assure you that eventually it will come out in one way or another.
The best way to find success in your personal and work life is through open communication, but that takes introspection. I have struggled with this myself—what do I want to say? How can I say it productively?
Our emotions affect how we communicate, so it is important to begin by understanding from what place your words are coming. If you’re angry about a situation, it can be easy to offend whomever you are speaking to. This will result in more problems and a smaller likelihood of good communication on the next go ‘round.
When you talk to someone without understanding your own emotions about the subject, you can accidentally find yourself doing damage control!
In fact, in the five rules for communicating for success, the third rule is to separate fact from feeling. Consider the last time you approached your boss about a possible change for the company and got shot down. Many people might leave the meeting feeling disheartened, upset, sad, or even angry. But if you can separate fact from feelings, you can better analyze whether your idea is actually good for the company and what changes might need made before you propose an idea again.
The top rule for communicating for success is knowing what your goal is and ensuring it is well-defined. I have had many, many instances in my life where I felt so overwhelmed by all of the things around me. My workload, my family life, my friendships—all of it felt like juggling balls in the air and never getting a break.
So first I needed to understand how I defined success. Is it money? A happy home life? A pool in the backyard? For myself, it was finding a balance between work and family that would provide me with the income I needed to maintain my lifestyle, but also give me the time I cherish so much with my family.
Once I defined success for myself, I could set goals and really dig into the nitty gritty of what it would take to accomplish them. Working from home, being my own boss, participating in functions/events/fitness with my kids—these goals needed details!
But it can’t stop there. Once the goals are set, the communication begins. I wrote myself reminders and hung them up. I told my family about my plans and I consistently discussed the place I was at along the path.
And I listened. When I resolved to find ways to be activefor my kids and myself, I listened to what they wanted to do and peppered in my own activities. By doing this, my kids found fun in helping me accomplish the goal, and I could gauge how it was progressing.
Whatever area of your life you are focusing on for success, you should know that you have a secret weapon to help you along your way: communication.