effective communication

How to Communicate Effectively Like a Man

When I was a college professor, I taught a variety of courses in effective communication, from public speaking to interpersonal communication, and everything in between. And on the first day of every new semester, I would ask my class the question:

“What is communication”? 

And of course, the students who wanted to be prepared, or at least impress me on the first day by reading ahead, always recited the textbook’s definition of the word – describing communication as, “A process by which the sender (the speaker) relays a message via a channel to a receiver (the listener) while avoiding or eliminating barriers of transmission.” 

Although my students were right, I always corrected them by giving them a new, more practical definition of the word “communication” that if understood and mastered, would help them be more effective in connecting with others, especially in relationships. And here’s what I told them:

“Communication is simply, a message that is understood.”

I continued, “It’s not what you say, what you thought you said, what you meant to say, or even how you say it – which are all important – but none of it matters if your message isn’t understood. Communication only takes place when a message is understood.”

With that being said, as men, when it comes to communicating with others (especially your wife), you only have two responsibilities:

  1. As a speaker: Make sure you’re understood.
  2. As a listener: Make sure you understand.

That’s it.

When Speaking

In mastering, learning, and understanding the heart of your wife – you need to make sure you’re understood when you’re speaking to her. And how do you do that? By asking affirming questions:

  • “Does that make sense?”
  • “What do you think I meant by that?”
  • “Do I need to explain that better?

When Listening

And when you’re the listener, which should be most of the time – you need to make sure you understand what she’s saying when she’s speaking to you. And how do you do that? By asking clarifying questions:

  • “Correct me if I’m wrong, are you saying _______?”
  • “When you said ______, what did you mean by that?”
  • “I’m sorry, could you explain that to me little more?

A good relationship doesn’t necessarily require agreement, but it always requires understanding. Almost every human being who’s ever been in a relationship knows that good communication is the key to the success of any relationship. A good relationship doesn’t necessarily require agreement, but it always requires understanding. So, when you’re listening, seek to understand; and when you’re speaking, seek to be understood.

Sound off: How do you effectively communicate?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Have you ever felt like I misunderstood you?”

 


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