Think back to the last time you had a conversation with someone and it truly felt like the other person was giving you 100% of their attention. It feels good, right? You probably opened up more and felt a better connection with the person. For some people, this comes more naturally, while others have to be intentional about mastering the art of mindful communication.
Here are 4 tips to help you engage in meaningful conversation:
Do your best to be fully present in the conversation. If you let your mind wander, this distraction can make it difficult to connect with other people and engage in mindful conversation. Activities that cause your mind to wander often require you to break eye contact with the person you’re talking to. Next time, try putting any distractions away before you begin a conversation, whether it’s closing your laptop or tucking your phone away.
Listen Before You Speak
Remember that mindful communication is a two-way street. Even if it seems like you just need to get something off your chest, it’s important to remember the other person has feelings too. For instance, what if it turns out they have a pressing issue they need to tell you about? Unless you begin by listening, it can be difficult to pick up on these subtle cues. Try to notice when your mind wanders and shift your focus to the very next word they say. This way, you can respond with a thoughtful answer.
Put yourself in the shoes of the other person. Since it’s easy to get caught up in our own busy lives, it’s important to take a step back and see things from someone else’s perspective. Try not to judge what the other person is saying and instead try to understand why they are saying it. Remember, there is often no right and wrong answer, and everyone has a unique perspective.
Make It About Them
When someone tells us something about their lives, it can be a gut reaction to respond with a personal anecdote or your own feelings about the topic. Instead, try keeping the focus on the other person and ask them to elaborate further so you can better understand. This way, you can get to the heart of what’s really on their mind. See if the person you’re speaking to starts to open up more. They will appreciate the subtle gesture because they will feel like someone understands and wants to help them.
With daily intention, these 4 tips will help you become a mindful communicator. Watch as your conversations become more engaging and meaningful, whether it’s your life partner, a colleague, or your children. You may find yourself feeling closer to these people than ever before.