Go back to the basics

speak with people Oct 07, 2022

When you learn something new, you most likely start with the basics. When I learned to play the guitar, I was introduced to scales. At the very beginning, I absolutely hated them. They were boring, they seemed useless and I could not imagine how these were helpful to me playing the guitar at all. But, in time, something started to happen. Those scales were laying a very strong foundation for my guitar skills. What I once hated, became central to how skilled I would become at playing the guitar. Isn’t that amazing how something that I hated and tried to blow off became incredibly valuable to me? 

The same is true for healthy communication. The decision is all yours. No one can force you to value communicating in healthy ways. I mean, most people you come across are not going to value healthy communication. Our world today seems to value communication by force or arrogance or by how loud or angry it is. But, if you make the decision to prioritize it and you work on it, you will become a healthy communicator. 

Now, those basics of communication. What are they? Why are they important? And for all intents and purposes, we will just hit some interpersonal communication basics. Each form of communication has its own basics. And, there isn’t a list in concrete of all the basics. Actually, the list probably changes for people depending on their situations and lives. But, there are some basics that everyone can use and value. Things like:

  • Being respectful
  • Not losing your patience
  • Looking at someone in the eye when you talk to them
  • Putting your phone away and not being distracted
  • Listening more than you speak
  • Asking great questions
  • Responding to someone in a respectful amount of time
  • Not speaking at or down to someone

When it comes to these very simple basics, over time, we can move away from them. Life gets in the way and before we know it, if we don’t do a check in on our communication, we will lose trust with the people we’re closest to because we’re treating them poorly. That’s why from time to time, it is so important to go back to the basics. 

How are you doing with the basics? And, probably more importantly, how would your family or your team say you’re doing with the basics. Take some time today to take an inventory of the basics of your interpersonal communication skills. Is it time to revisit them? Do you need to go back and practice some of those scales again? 

Thank you for valuing healthy communication and being someone who Speaks with People, not at them.