Connecting with people who are listening to us and transmitting a message that really ‘reaches them’ is not usual or easy.
It is one thing to speak and quite another to communicate. The latter has to do with connecting with other people, with establishing a link that allows a bidirectional circulation of energy, because that is exactly what words are: energy in vibration.
To establish quality communication, the message must be delivered in an authentic and empathetic way, because, in essence, we are exchanging emotions. And we already know that forced emotions are quickly detected.
What could be the process for true communication? And I mean that way of communicating that engages, that impacts, that transforms, that is honest and genuine.
Schematically, the communication process can be approached in five concatenated steps:
1. Contextualisation of the conversation
We do not pay much attention to this first step, even though it is decisive for the proper development of a conversation. Its aim is to adapt our way of communicating to the particularities of the person we have as an interlocutor, while modulating him or her according to environmental conditions.
Therefore, for example, it is not the same to start a conversation with a person who we notice has an issue, deep in their thoughts, than with another person who is disturbed or concerned. In the same way, a calm environment or a noisy environment with frequent interruptions also condition the person.
It is about taking the person’s and the environment’s pulse and adapting the creation of the message to the received inputs. Sometimes, the best option may even be to postpone the conversation.
2. Internal preparation to perform quality active listening
The indispensable requirement for good communication is a clear willingness to listen deeply. What we are going to emit must necessarily take into account what the other person has been telling us.
Being ready to listen is to have an empathetic, humble and curious attitude, while professing deep respect for the other person at the same time.
The best way to achieve this is by adopting a calm, fully present state, anchoring it in order for it to remain present throughout the full conversation.
3. Calibration and Synchronisation
To be able to communicate authentically, we must ‘vibrate’ at the same frequency as our interlocutor. This way, our message will flow without ‘short circuits’.
One way to achieve this is by calibrating the person we are communicating with and then synchronizing with them.
Calibrating consists of capturing the gestures, the position of the body, the tone of the voice, the type of breathing and even the small movements that the muscles of the face may make. Once we have collected as much information as possible, we would begin with the synchronisation.
It is about adopting, imitating, what we have been calibrating, of mimicking the other person. This way, for example, if the interlocutor is sitting cross-legged and slightly leaning backwards, we will adopt the same position. If you pause while speaking, we will too, and if your tone of voice is low, ours will be too.
After calibrating and synchronising, we have established the perfect way to connect and start communicating.
At the beginning, we said that communication is, above all, an exchange of emotions. It is necessary that, throughout the process, we maintain the calibration in case there are variations in the listener, and, if necessary, that we adapt to the changes that have arisen.
At the same time, it is convenient that we give our opinion on what we are receiving and that we listen to their comments about it so that a conversation free of assumptions and judgments can be configured.
Feedback consists of constructively commenting (avoiding criticism) the sensations and emotions after what has been heard. The receiver of the message expresses what he has understood to his interlocutor and what emotions are now present after having listened to him. In this manner, the sender can know what impact their words are causing and can contrast it to their intention.
By using this simple technique, we can avoid subjectivity and interpretation, which can sometimes be a source of conflict, in an honest, sincere and neutral way.
5. Pick up and closure
As with the first step, this part is also essential and we don’t always have the wisdom to devote the attention it requires.
It is time to draw conclusions of the conversation and verify the state of mind with which we conclude with sincere gratitude, regardless of whether the conversation did or didn’t take the path that we had previously imagined it to.
In this manner, in this conversation written by me and read by you, I can only say: thank you for your attention.