By Ahmad Davis
Special to Inside The Pew
When my wife Regina and I first got married, we had our biggest argument, not over money, not over kids, in-laws or something common like that, it was over how to communicate with each other. So my biggest lesson out of our first argument was the money fights were a symptom and not the problem. The problem was establishing a best practice for communicating. So here are some of those best practices I discovered.
Step 1: Listen and Repeat
One of my strengths from the beginning of our relationship is that I am a strong listener. Yet, if I do not take the time to engage the conversation back, it can and will be perceived as I do not care about what is being discussed. So my strongest and best suggestion is to repeat back what was said with your input. This method shows that you were listening, have an opinion, and you are engaged in the solution.
Step 2: Repeat and Review
As I mentioned, after you have listened and got a good understanding, then you make sure that your spouse knows you understand them first before you try and seek understanding. In Stephen Covey’s Book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he expertly explains that most people are continuously seeking to be understood. As couples, we have to be very intentional in a discussion to NOT try and just explain our own point of view, instead repeat back what was said and make sure you ask if you understand what they said. Most people are more receptive to your feedback if they know that you respect their train of thought.
Step 3: Review and Do
Now that you have effective dialogue going. The most important factor is to act on what you said. Nothing says I love you like action. Up to this point, you have listened intently, communicated your understanding of their point of view, and had your point of view heard. The best way for me to close this type of conversation is to agree to do ONE action that will SHOW you understood what was said.
KEY POINT: It is usually better for me to ask the other person to choose the most important action, that way I am not guessing and missing the mark.
Just in case you did not catch it, but the most important part of communication is listening, not talking. So strengthen your listening skills with effective an engagement system.
Ahmad Davis is a coach with Victory By Design, a firm based in Beaumont, Texas, serving clients locally, nationally and internationally. Ahmad provides solutions for individuals, couples, and businesses who are overwhelmed and stressed financially. Ahmad’s typical clients’ are pastors, single parents, lawyers, couples, doctors, business executives, newlyweds, business owners, and others who want a simple solution with remarkable measurable results. For more information, visit http://www.thebiblicalblueprint.com. To get your questions answered on the Inside The Pew Forum, email Ahmad at firstname.lastname@example.org.