Barriers to communication
Nine steps to improve communication within the family

Nine steps to improve communication within the family

Author: Alfonso Aguiló | Source:

Barriers to communication
Nine steps to improve communication within the family
By: Alfonso Aguiló | Source:

Take charge
Imagine, Stephen Covey suggests, that you have a serious vision problem and decide to go to the eye doctor's office.

The doctor, after briefly listening to your explanation of the problem, takes his glasses out of his pocket and hands them to you while saying solemnly: "Put on these glasses. I have used them for ten years and they have been great for me. "

You put a face of great astonishment, and the eye doctor, without batting an eye, adds: - «Do not worry, I have others at home, you can keep these.»

With a skepticism difficult to overcome, you try those glasses and, as expected, you see even worse than before, and you complain: - "Please, how will your glasses serve me? I see everything blurry. »

- «Listen, please do more work», the oculist answers gravely. - «I put it, but I do not see anything», you answer already on the verge of anger.

The oculist insists: - «Be more patient and collaborate, please. They have to serve you. I have been doing very well all these years. "

Finally, you leave there, scandalized by such incompetence, and the oculist-to call him somehow-is left thinking: - "You have to see, what a most ungrateful man. I have not managed to understand me. I just wanted to help him and ... how he's put on! "

What this example aims to highlight is that many times, when we advise someone, something similar to what happened to that foolish oculist is happening to us. We feel frustrated because a certain person does not understand us, or because he rejects our advice, and perhaps we complain that he does not care to listen to us. And in reality the problem is not that that person lacks interest or lack of understanding, but that we are mistaking the approach, and that person does not understand what we say because we have not been able to understand before us what their real problem is: We are vehemently recommending the use of glasses that work well for us, but probably not for him: we have to diagnose which glasses he needs first.
It is necessary to first understand well, to then be able to diagnose well, and finally advise well.

Let's take another example (this one may be much more real and possible than that grotesque conversation with the oculist):

-Come on, Carlos, my son, why are you like that?
-Mom, you can not understand it.
-Really, yes, tell me.
-What not, mom.
- Yes, I understand, my son. What's wrong?
-I do not know, mom.
-Come on, Carlos, why are you so sad?
-Well ..., in short, is that the school can not stand it. I want to stop studying.
-But ... are you crazy? At fifteen years of age, put yourself to work? After the sacrifices that your father and I have made so many years so that you can go to a good school? No way. Education is the foundation of your future. You have to make a career, like your sister. What you have to do is study more, and you'll see how it ends up like you. Come, my son, you could get very good grades if you were not so lazy and so dreamer.
- Leave it, mom, you do not understand ...

There could be many other examples like this one, which reveals a considerable lack of communication. In this case, it is very likely that Carlos is going through some difficulties in school, difficulties that, at least for him, are important and make him feel very sad. To help you, it seems important to know what those causes are. But if when the boy opens a door of his privacy, and begins to tell what worries him ..., if then, without letting him finish, we unload on him a string of wise advice and wise warnings, before we take charge of what it happens to him; Then, most likely, the trust is very difficult and the conversation ends in a bitter "Leave it, mom, you do not understand ..." or something similar.
There is a key issue in any personal relationship: try first to understand him, and only later, try to understand him.
If you want to help someone else - be it your son, your spouse, your father, your boss, your subordinate, your collaborator, your friend, or whoever - the first thing you need to do is understand them. As you achieve it, it will be much easier for you to understand what you wanted to say or do (and maybe, after having understood it better, what you want to do or say is already different from what you originally thought).
Listen, but listen to understand
Detect and eliminate barriers
Interpretation errors
Ability to keep secrets
Overcoming generational differences
Personal credibility
The opportunity to expand
Surgery operations
Alfonso Aguiló; Author of the book "Character and personal worth", Editorial Palabra, colecc. Make Family, nº 66.

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