3 Ways to Practice Mindful Communication
By: Guest Blogger, Ruby Trestik; Communications Major at Chapman University
We all know that practicing mindfulness is a way that we can ground and center ourselves, but did you know that practicing mindfulness in communication contexts is equally as important? Communicating mindfully means creating understanding through awareness. Doing this allows us to have more effective conversations and also helps us to navigate through conflict in productive and low-stress ways. There are many different ways to apply mindful communication in your life, below are three of the ways you can begin practicing mindful communication on a basic level
Use “Choice Points”
When communicating mindfully it is important to understand why you are speaking. Using choice points means taking a moment to pause before you speak and asking yourself “Why am I talking right now?” or “What outcome am I looking to achieve?”. Oftentimes when we are in uncomfortable situations we ramble or shut down, using this method helps us to be mindful about when we should be talking and when we should be practicing active listening.
Be aware of Needs
Everyone has underlying needs. To have effective communication it is important to be aware of what our own needs are and what the needs of the other conversation participants are as well. Conflict is what occurs when we are feeling as if our needs are not being met. Mindfully strategizing how to communicate what your needs are can be very effective in reducing conflict and misunderstandings. If you are unaware of what your needs are, pause, breathe, take some time to think it through before you proceed with the conversation.
Apply empathy and compassion
Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from their point of view. Compassion is the concern that comes from this understanding. In order to communicate mindfully we must apply this mindset to all conversations. This allows us to communicate in a way that does not evoke the blame game or defensiveness. This also allows us to become less interested in conflict and leads to more peaceful relationships.