“A word spoken at the right time is like golden apples on a silver tray.”
Lack of communication
Breakdown in Communication
Google “communication” and over 7 million sites will pop up. In addition to the internet, there are hundreds of books written on the art of improving your communication. In my practice as a life coach, a very common question I am asked is "How can I be a better communicator at work and in my personal relationships?"
Humans are all about relationships and positive relationships are all about positive communication.
Proverbs 25:11 says that “a word spoken at the right time” (positive communication) is like golden apples on a silver tray”. The golden apples are the nourishment we need to give others when communicating and the silver tray is the foundation needed to experience TRANSFORMational communication. For me, the three “golden apples” are LISTENING (https://www.heatherdiascoaching.com/post/impactful-listening), CLARITY and HONESTY. The “silver tray”, the foundation of all three of these is “compassionate” UNDERSTANDING.
“Now is the time to understand more, so we fear less."
UNDERSTANDING, compassionate understanding is the foundation of effective, powerful, brave communication. When we seek to comprehend, to really GET to know others, two things happen:
1) We increase our compassion and empathy for the other person.
2) The other person feels valued and thus there is a deepening of trust.
Trust then sets the stage for a healthy and productive communication(s). For example, in the mornings - my husband knows it is best to wait until I have had at least half a cup of my coffee before starting a conversation. If not, he knows that he probably won’t get the positive response he expects and deserves.He knows me enough to trust that I will answer in love if he waits. We can’t always know everything about the other person but turning on our E.Q.(emotional intelligence) and putting forth time to know and understand is a start.
Once we develop the foundation of compassionate understanding, we are ready to communicate.
“We are to be quick to hear, slow to speak.”
The first golden apple is LISTENING. There is nothing wrong with speaking. It is actually the second part of communication. But if my FOCUS is on me, on what I am going to say, then I am not actively listening to the other person. You can’t FAKE listening. We all know when someone isn’t fully engaged in what we are sharing. It's not a great feeling. BUT when we are listened to, we feel loved, valued, embraced, heard.
The second golden apple is CLARITY. Clarity is defined as “ the quality of being coherent, intelligible and transparent.”
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
George Bernard Shaw
I love this quote! How many times have you walked away from a conversation feeling like “OK! that went well. We totally are on the same page” only to discover there was a huge miscommunication and in fact you were on two separate pages! Clarity in speech is not only speaking slowly with proper pronunciation. It is actually more about being specific and clear in WHAT you are saying. When we aren’t sure what we want to say or how to say it, we tend to ramble indiscriminately, and the other person is left either completely confused or misinformed as to what you said.
One great question to ask the other person after you speak is:
“What did you hear me say?”
Or when getting clarification from them:
“Let me tell you what I heard you say ….”
That way you are all on the same page!
“Instead, speaking the truth in love…”
The third golden apple is HONESTY. We all deeply desire honesty. We want to know that we can trust the other person to be truthful. What I actually desire is for the person to be lovingly honest NOT brutally honest. I also want to check before I speak to make sure I am speaking the truth (honest) in love.
Of all three of the golden apples, I believe that Honesty requires the foundation of UNDERSTANDING to really shine bright in love.
Finally, before any important conversation -
PAUSE, PRAY, BREATHE, FOCUS.
I call this taking a PAUSE-tive Pause.