Communication 101: Out of Your Head and Into Your Heart
I have always been fascinated by communication. By what people think it is versus what it actually involves. By the myriad of ways in which it happens when we’re not aware of it, or doesn’t happen when we think it is. By language and meaning. By bodies and the stories they hold. By the ways in which our beliefs and how we think about things influence the words we choose to use or withhold. All of it.
There is a distinction between talking and communicating. Between hearing and listening.
Talking and hearing both start from the head. They are limited not only due to the mere fact that plenty of folks are nonverbal and/or deaf. But they can happen without any other senses, any other input, coming online to inform us. They create a dead-end when it comes to new learning because they operate wholly within our preexisting reality and limited perspective.
On the contrary, communicating and listening both start from the heart. They call in more of our senses. They require whole person awareness, empathy skills, a keen eye for nonverbal communication, and humility. They create opportunities for new learning because they demand understanding, and require a basic acceptance of multiple potential realities and perspectives.
Communicating from the head requires knowledge. It tells us that we dare not engage in conversations where we aren’t 100% sure of what we’re saying. We don’t contribute unless we’re certain that what we have to say is correct and accurate. Naturally, this leads to a whole lot of silence, which is not only unproductive and offers no new learning, but is ultimately damaging to our relationships, and even violent to communities who need us to be actively engaging with one another in an effort to learn and grow, so that the world doesn’t continue to feel like a dumpster fire. That’s a long sentence. But it’s really important.
Communicating from the head insists that we think our way into solution. We try to fix. Let me say this next part loud and clear: people do not want to be fixed. People want to be witnessed.
Which brings me to the golden ticket when it comes to effective communication: heart-led communication.
Communicating from the heart requires no special knowledge. It is not based in the intellect. Communicating from the heart encourages us to lean in to that which we don’t already know, to better understand. It asks us to humbly step outside our limited experience, narrow perspective, and singular reality. That’s it.
Heart-led communication creates space. Space to be imperfect. To fuck up. To get it wrong. To make mistakes. The key is that when it is brought to our attention that we’ve made a mistake or fucked up, that we’re open to that feedback. That we can show up with curiosity and humility in the face of criticism, and rather than shut down – which again, is a dead end for us – take the opportunity for new learning and growth.
I’m here to impact the way we communicate with one another. To lean into and call others into learning the true value and skills of heart-led communication, so that we can come back to one another. So that we can stop isolating and silencing ourselves for fear of saying or doing it wrong. We are all still learning. But only if we’re open to it.
If you’re ready to go deeper into heart-led communication, make sure you hop on over to my website and get your name on the waitlist for my upcoming online course. I hope to see you there!
In the meantime, you’re welcome to check out my “5 Easy Steps to Stop Arguing and Start Communicating”. Grab your free copy here.