Pope Francis strongly believes that communication is a powerful medium that can help enrich our society by “building bridges” and “enabling encounter and inclusion.” He says that words and actions, when done with conscious care, can help “avoid misunderstandings, heal wounded memories, and build peace and harmony.”
Want to be a better communicator? Read on and learn how!
Dialogue, don’t debate.
Debate means to argue about a subject. Dialogue, on the other, means to take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem. If you love the thrill of verbal sparring and winning over your “opponent,” you might turn regular conversations into winner-takes-all disputes out of habit. Try entering your chats with the intention of connecting and finding common ground—and discover how a win-win situation that benefits everyone can be even more thrilling.
Share what’s relevant, not everything you know.
When we were younger, we were taught to speak up to make a good impression. But as we mature, the skill of discerning what to say is even more important. You might be eager to share (or show off!) your encyclopedic knowledge on ensaymada, but if your friend is simply talking about a new recipe she discovered, you might lose her attention. Instead of taking this as a personal rejection, see it as a cue to shift gears and drop your dissertation.
Listen, don’t just perform.
Have you ever used a so-called conversation as a chance to deliver a monologue? Did you gauge how your “audience” was reacting, up your dramatic delivery, and move in with the punchline? And instead of listening to what the next person had to say, did you replay your performance in your mind or start planning your next speech? In this scenario, you are physically part of the conversation, but act as if you’re in a one-man show. Step things up by putting the focus on the other person and really listen so that you can respond accordingly.