Nassim Sana, MC

Healthy Communication

Healthy Communication in any Language 

       I believe that there is an art form to healthy and effective communication; it’s like a painting a picture, consisting of many colors, shades and forms. It can be raw, Nassim Sanacrude or it can be filled with wisdom and thought. It doesn’t matter what language we speak or what culture we come from as human beings the way in which we communicate is universal. We all use the same techniques to communicate with. Communication skills that we utilize are so natural to us that we don’t even realize how we affect our environment. It is important to remember that the words we choose to use have immense power behind them. Most of the time we may not even realize it but through verbal and non-verbal communication we can triumph or destroy situations or relationships.

            In my opinion we create our lives with how we choose to communicate with our world. I was raised with 2 different languages and 2 different cultures. Why am I pointing this out? Simple, because I have come to recognize that no matter how happy, sad or angry I am, I will use the same body language and same expressive words to convey my thoughts and feelings as the person standing next to me. I’m not any more unique in my way of communication than someone from another culture or country. Sure the body language gestures may vary a bit, but as I explained before most of the way we communicate is universal. So when I see someone standing in front of me with their arms tightly crossed, I’m going to assume they are disinterested or upset with me. The same goes for our facial expressions; I can read a person’s facial expression and make a comment based on that. Again some of it may be true and some based on my assumption.

             The point I’m making is that most of our communication skills are so ingrained in us that we don’t even think about them; it’s second nature to us. What happens is when I get too comfortable in my communication approach then I begin to have a monologue instead of a dialogue. You may think it funny but I bet you do that too. What I mean is, when someone says something or does something, I’m making an assumption based on my previous thoughts and past experiences with that person or other unrelated situations. Yes, I said it the past, that’s our real pitfall bringing the past in the present. When you’re having a conversation with someone it’s important to be fully present with them, and not to formulate conclusions in your head. The key here is to be objective, be present, and listen without bringing your own agenda into the conversation.

         If you want to be heard, understood, and respected you have to create a healthy space so the other person gives the same back to you. In that healthy space you are creating it’s important to try to relate to the other person, and not make them feel wrong in the way they think or feel. The minute you give the attitude that my way is right and your way is wrong, you have killed the dialogue. As people we generally love to be attached to what we want, win or get our own way, but by doing that we continue to isolate ourselves. The key is to be committed to the goal of the conversation and not to how we want things to be. My recommendation is to create a space of integrity that will help you have a clear commitment to the issue you’re working through. Not only is it important to have integrity with the words you are creating but using mindfulness and wisdom will take you along way. The last suggestion I have to offer is always step back, assess and be willing to ask open-ended questions that are related to the topic and not your own motive of getting someone to agree with you. It’s also important to allow yourselves to be more willing to honestly express your thoughts. Finally, put yourselves in the other person’s shoes, truly listen to where they are coming from, why are they thinking and feeling a certain way, never ever assume, and give the other person the room to express their thoughts and feelings without judgment. Remember your goal is to have a dialogue not a monologue.