Oct 8 2018
Interpersonal Skills and Self Development
At the age of 3, I discovered that my son was autistic*. As a result, his communication skills were impaired and he was living in his own world. I often wondered what the world would be like if we were all autistic! In the midst of all the misunderstanding among people, it does feel that way sometimes. One can’t help but ask why does it feel like this? I believe the answer lies in our emotions and how they are expressed in our daily communication. Listen closely to people as they speak, and you will surely sense the emotion that is behind what they are saying.
If you think back to a time when you were angry, you probably don’t remember much about what you said. How about when you held a conversation while experiencing any other negative emotion? Chances are you remember the contents of it a bit better. Yet, you still do not recall a good part of it. On the other hand, you probably heard yourself sometimes say: I was so happy (or any other overwhelmingly joyous feeling) I don’t remember what I said then. Let’s look now at a different scenario: If you were asked to recall a conversation that you had when you were calm, not under the influence of any intense emotion (negative or positive), you would probably remember that conversation with a lot more clarity.
Effective communicators usually are very careful about the words they choose, the tone of voice they use, and the body language they display. So if we were to judge their emotions when they speak, it would be safe to say they were in a calm state.
It, therefore, stands to reason to infer that one key element to effective communication is our ability to manage our emotions and choosing to communicate only when are able to bring ourselves to an emotionally neutral state. How is that possible you might ask! The answer lies in self-awareness through mindfulness. We must understand our triggers by observing what makes us experience intense negative or positive emotions, then develop techniques to neutralize these triggers in our mind.
* Autism is a developmental disorder that has affected a large number of children throughout the world. It basically impairs the social and communication development in these children forcing them to live in their own world.
Written by: Ibrahim Al Yafi, Partner with Meirc