In this instalment of Stowe guests, we are joined by Natalie from Thrive & Flourish, a training and development company that helps people to transform the way they are perceived by others and give them new-found confidence in how they communicate.
Today, she joins us on the blog to look at how the way we communicate, both direct and indirect, can affect the relationships in our life, especially our partner.
When it comes to communicating it is often the things we don’t say that have the most impact. Our movements, expressions and the sound of our voice can sometimes put across a meaning that is entirely different from what was intended.
It has been suggested that body language may account for up to 70% of all communication and there is plenty written about how to read someones but how often do we reflect on our own body language and what it says to people.
Take a moment to think about how you speak, how you move, your facial expressions. What is that you are really communicating? How are you actually perceived? What vibe do you give off? Have you developed habitual patterns in your own communication?
Sitting slouched in a chair, not making eye contact when listening to others, speaking so fast it feels like, to others, that you want to get the conversation over with, fidgeting with your fingers, interrupting people as they speak, are all seen as negative communication techniques but for some people they may be just a habit. However, habits can be broken.
Good communication is the foundation of a strong and healthy relationship yet it is often the simplest bad habits that get couples into trouble. Problems escalate when people repeat their mistakes again and again.
Three of the most common communication mistakes in a relationship I have encountered are:
Shouting at your partner – this may feel good in the short-term but can very easily form into a habit and become the only way you communicate strong emotions
Speaking before thinking – we are all guilty of saying things as a reaction without thinking it through. Stop, take your time and think before you speak.
Negative non-verbal communication – you may not have said anything negative but your expressions, gestures and body language say something very different.
So when you have a moment think about your own habits: What vocal patterns do you have? How do you sit or stand? Do you talk over people?
And think about how you communicate with your partner. Can you spot any negative habits? Why not honestly rate how you communicate? Without fixing communication issues, your relationship will always struggle.
Take time to think about the above and you might be surprised at the impact of what you don’t say.
Get in touch
At Thrive & Flourish we can help. We look at practical ways to enhance your understanding of your voice and physicality and make simple yet effective changes to transform how you communicate. Unlike traditional training, our programmes place emphasis on self-awareness, discovery and an understanding of how you are perceived by others.