We’ve all been there, trying to be Super Women. When we get home from work, there is homework to do with the kids, dinner to get started, three loads of laundry to wash and fold, and the dog needs to go outside. Oh, and we did not mention, you are exhausted from your day too, but you put the super mom cape on since you’re home. Everyone is in the kitchen asking how each other’s day was. By trying to be Super Woman and get everything done, I have often failed as a mom. Communication is key to building our relationships.
Relationships are so important. Whether we’re communicating verbally, nonverbal, or written, we must give our undivided attention. We may not mean for a certain tone to come across, but it can be perceived that way and change the whole meaning. Just the other day, I was talking with my daughter and I asked her a question as I stepped into the other room before she answered. I could still see her and I knew I was just going to the chair to fold clothes while we visited. However, she did not know my intentions of what and where I was going and called me out on it. Once she realized that I was just literally a few feet away and still listening, she was okay, but it made me realize how insensitive it was of me to do that in the first place.
Think back to a conversation that the person was fully focused on what you were saying. I bet it made you feel good, not rushed, and you did not feel like you were bothering them. That is what makes a good conversation with family, friends, and coworkers. It is so easy to get caught up in the trap of multi-tasking while visiting with them.
Things to consider when communicating with others
- Give them 100% of your attention
- Do not multi task when you talk
- Show respect
- Let them know how important they are
- Show that you are actively listening
- Body language, tone of voice, and words should match
- Communication can be nonverbal
- Use eye contact
- Body language is a form of nonverbal communication – your words and body language should match
- Communication can be verbal
- Listen to understand what is being said, instead of just trying to figure out what you are going to say next
- Be engaged and ask questions
- Your tone of voice should match your words and body language
- Communication can be written
- Before you send the text, email, or letter, step back and re-read it to be sure it reflects what your intentions are
- The tone of your voice cannot be heard, so the words have to inflect the tone “How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things but how well we are understood.” – Andrew Grove
So don’t worry about the super mom cape. Stop trying to cook dinner, do laundry, and ask how someone’s day was at the same time. My husband would tell me that dinner does not turn out great when I try to multitask, but the most important reason is to show respect for the one you’re talking to. We’re not promised tomorrow, so be in the moment and give your full attention. They are important and you really do care what they say, so focus and enjoy your conversation.