“We can’t can’t communicate.”
I believe in the power of communication.
It can ignite or stop a war.
It can motivate a losing basketball team and win the game.
It can change people’s behavior.
It can make a lady say “yes” to a proposal.
It can inspire followers to accomplish feats what the thought couldn’t.
It can extend thesis deadlines.
It can convince voters to vote for you.
It can save a guilty accused from conviction.
It can give hope to seemingly hopeless situations.
It can bring out the best out of a musician.
It can give solace to the lonely.
It can comfort a mourning nation.
It can ease a pain.
It can calm an angry agitated crowd.
It can unite a disintegrating organization.
It can bind two lovers daily.
It can accomplish great things.
I am fascinated to people who know a great deal about communication and apply it. There is something in them that magnetized others towards them. They can easily attract attention and maintain it the end of their speech or conversation. We are easily bored after five minutes listening to people who don’t know how to communicate, but when a speaker is a good and sensible one, we seem not to notice that he had already spoken for two hours.
There are people you love to be with because they are such wonderful conversationalist. Sarap kausap. You can spend the whole day with him/her talking and not get bored.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned in communication especially in a one-on-one conversation:
- Listen. This is the number one reason why others are considered good conversationalists. They know how to listen heartily. They don’t rationalize or busy thinking what to say next, but they just genuinely listen. Scott Peck has a term “bracketing”, that is to suspend all the judgments while listening to the story of the other person. Commonly, we want to express ourselves, be heard, and offer advice. It’s very tempting to speak out especially if you know the topic very well. Listening can give you a proper perspective and understanding on what the other person is trying to say and experiencing.
A story is told of a biologist who had travelled around the world and made many discoveries. He met a teacher in a party, and they talked. The teacher just listened and nodded on some points, and occasionally asked questions regarding his discoveries. After some time, they parted, and the biologist made a remark to the host of the party. He said “you know that teacher? He’s a good conversationalist.” It’s amazing. What the teacher did was just to listen. Benjamin Disraeli was right when he said “talk to people about themselves and they listen for hours.” People are generally egotists. We love to talk about ourselves. We love people who are fond of us and our stories.
- Love people. You cannot listen to people whom you don’t love or value. Or else you are just a manipulating a conversation. To listen genuinely requires treating the person as he is, not just an object in a conversation you know so well. You can make him like you because of your skills in a conversation, but it’s nothing if you just play with him. It’s tempting to manipulate a conversation just to make them like you. This can be avoided when you love or value people as they are.
- Every conversation is an emotional one. As you talk with other person, be aware of his emotions. Rejoice with him if he’s happy, and empathize with him if he’s downhearted. Know the story behind the story. There will always be a reason why he behaves and opens up those things.
- Maintain an eye contact. When you look on his eyes, you tell him that he is your focus. It’s as if he’s the most important person in the world that moment, who deserves your utmost attention. Eyes also are the windows of the soul. You can know and feel how he feels through watching his eyes.
- Smile. It’s a friendly gesture, welcoming the other to enter in a light conversation.
Wonderful things happen within the realm of communication. Sometimes you’re aware of it. Sometimes you’re not. But if you we are honest and communicate so well, people are encouraged and lives are changed.