May 20, 2020

2 builders, 2 impeders and 2 destroyers of Effective Communication

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2 things that build trust: Listening and Affirmation

Have you noticed that when you talk with emotionally healthy influencers and leaders you feel listened to, affirmed and encouraged? There is something about the way they consistently listen with empathy and speak with clarity that builds trust. You are made to feel safe and valued and that you belong. There are no surprises—the relationship is what it is said to be. They are dependable. Their transparent vulnerability gives you the sense that their world is not complete without their connection with you—that you can add value to them.
Conversation with emotionally healthy people is easy and free-flowing.

2 communication impeders

Limited Transparency
If a fear of rejection underlies interactions, there will be limited transparency and we will cause a divide in the relationship. I wondered why at times people would say to me, “I don’t know what you are thinking” or “It would be really helpful for you to say some more.” Now I understand that my limited disclosure was due to a fear of rejection. I am so appreciative of my mentor who helped me be free from this fear.

One early change I noticed as I approached burnout was in the way I related and responded to others. I became more cynical and critical in attitude when expressing my intolerance of other’s perceived ineptness. This concerned me as I was usually gracious in conversation. But I had become blunt and harsh. I am sorry for this. What was inside was flowing out. My graciousness was restored as I rested and recovered.

2 symptoms of emotional sickness that destroy communication

Losing your voice.
Well people communicate to connect, but sick people will often fall silent. If someone has gone silent on you, don’t take it personally but journey with them to see them well. Thank you to those who walked with me when I was sick. I am deeply appreciative. In the same way that losing your voice is a sign of a sore throat, losing your voice in connections is a sign that something is not well.

Who can help you get well? We need the voice of those we love. Continued silence will cause people to look for some other voice. Dads, let your voice be heard. Mums, let your voice be heard. Lovers, let your lover hear your voice. Many times I hear the reason for relationship brake down is “He wouldn’t talk to me”. Affairs often start this way.

Losing sight of others.
When people are emotionally unwell they easily lose sight of others. One sign of this is constantly bringing the conversation back to themselves. They block free-flowing conversation whey they follow a story with phrases like “this happened to me…..” and launch into a story about themselves. They see the other person’s communication as an opportunity to tell something about their world.

The low measure of well-being makes them unable to build the relationship in asking questions like “tell me more”, “what happened then” or “how do you feel about that?” They subconsciously need to endorse themselves by telling their story. Yes, there is a time and place for that. However, if it’s a response to everything that is said by the other person, it quickly causes a chasm.


Set some time aside to reflect on your connections. Evaluate the effectiveness of your communication.

  • Who am I most transparent with?
  • Where can I increase vulnerability and transparency?
  • How is my voice?
  • Have I lost sight of those who matter?

Here is the benchmark. Healthy Christian Leaders communicate effectively and transparently. They build trust, listen actively and with compassion. Further, they articulate clearly with grace and vulnerability.

Who is helping you be healthy?

Have you subscribed? Coming soon: A vital element in building healthy key relationships—Practising healthy conflict management.

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