recently I watched an interview where actor Will Smith discusses a public feud he had that had been resolved. Of the many gems of wisdom, one thing I got from the interview was the importance of good communication. Whilst the idea may seem easy enough. Communicating well is in fact a skill one has to constantly work on. Mainly because when communicating or interacting with others we are often also interacting with our past experiences. Meaning that we can be triggered or frustrated by something someone says because it reminds us of something else. Which is why an essential part of communication is listening.

This means listening to what the person is actually saying or trying to say rather than what they are saying means for you. This is the first line of defense in avoiding misunderstandings. Second to listening is understanding. Only then, as Mr Smith says, should you respond. Looking back I see how this 3 stepped approached could have saved me many uncomfortable and hurtful moments with loved ones. So next time you are talking to someone, especially about something important, make sure you listen well and understand before responding. As difficult as thus practice may seem, it can have positive life long effects.

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