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Communication: The Words We Use Matter

April 03, 20234 min read

In April we focus on Communication, a vital skill for all humans and yet one that is not often modeled in the healthiest, most useful way. Ideally, our families would teach us how to communicate well (effectively, respectfully and purposefully) by doing so with each other. It would be amazing if kids saw and heard their parents, grandparents, older siblings and caregivers speaking kindly and clearly to each other, without unnecessary drama, manipulation, hate or derision. Words matter. The words we use matter. The way we use them matters too! Not just to the person hearing the words, but to the speaker. We deserve to speak our truth. We have a right to ask for what we need, to set boundaries and to share what matters most to us. AND we can do this in an authentic, compassionate, clear and kind way. Conversely, when someone is speaking to us, we have a right to object if they are being disrespectful, unkind, manipulative or untrue. True communication is about sharing openly, honestly and clearly. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable, patient, respectful and considerate from both sides of the conversation. Let’s look a 4 communication skills/pieces that are vital to true communication:

  1. Clarity. Brene Brown says “clear is kind” and we heard this! Working to clearly say what we mean (and it can be work) is a vital skill. We have been conditioned to make our language polite and while polite is a good instinct, it is also important to be honest and clear. Couching our language in politeness may hide the true meaning. Like when you need to draw a boundary or give some critical feedback, you may tend to try to soften the blow and deliver the message in an almost cryptic way, thinking you can hint your way at communicating the bad or hard news. The instinct is kind and yet if we don’t really communicate the true message, particularly in a collaborative or work environment, where we are expecting changed behavior - not so kind! The person may not understand the message. People will have their reactions to clear, direct language that conveys a less than pleasant message - that’s their right, and their business. Your business is to communicate the message clearly.

  2. Respect. So we need to be clear but we also need to be respectful and kind. Does that feel like a tight-rope to walk? That’s fair. It can be challenging. Like most skills, you have to practice it to get better. We all deserve respect and respect demands respect. What I mean is, being respectful does not mean accepting disrespect from others. Boundaries around disrespectful behavior is key. Treat others with respect and demand respect for yourself. That means it is perfectly fine and correct to end a conversation that is crossing your boundaries and feeling disrespectful to you. That’s not ok. Don’t accept it, don’t give it.

    important communication with kids
  3. Openness. Being open means open to hear something that maybe doesn’t mesh with your current belief or opinion. You don’t have to accept everything you hear, but be willing to hear it. Get curious. Try to see the other side. Be willing to be vulnerable and possibly even change your mind. That’s ok. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you receive compelling new evidence or information. You aren’t really communicating if your mind is closed to any new idea.  

  4. Active Listening. This is a therapy term but for our purposes it means actually listening to the person speaking. Stay focused on what they are saying. Ask questions to fully understand them. Brene Brown has an excellent tool she uses with her team or when interviewing someone. “Say More” - this prompts the speaker to elaborate on what they are saying and gives you an opportunity to better understand. It is good for everyone when someone asks for clarification (see #1 above).

sign language and good communication

These skills apply to when you are speaking and when you are listening. Actual communication requires both!

This month consider focusing on your communication skills. Maybe practice with someone close to you and see how it improves your relationship. Or be brave and practice with someone you are in conflict with. Maybe you can reach a better place together. See our CourTool called Creating Space and practice the skills. Listen to a meditation like “My Hand is Open” and see where that takes you! In these very interesting and trying times on Planet Earth we need effective communicators. People who can connect us - not divide. Won’t you help?

Every month we send out updates about what Cour Experiences is up to and how our tools can help empower you to live your absolute best life. If you would like to receive these updates straight to your inbox. Sign up for a monthly membership.

communication tool bv Cour Experience

or request a full-membership access for 7 Days!

communication tools - by cour experience

Communication skills for parentsParent-child communicationEffective communication with childrenActive listening for parentsTalking to your child about their mental healthCreating a safe space for communicationUsing clarity and respect in conversations with childrenSupporting your child's emotional well-being through communicationHelping your child open up about stress and anxietyTeaching children communication skills for managing mental healthMindful communication with your childBuilding resilience through communicationCommunicating boundaries with your childEncouraging openness in conversations with your childImproving family communication for better mental health
blog author image

Marci Mitchell

The Chief Operating Officer of Cour Experience, Inc. Certified EFT and TFT Tapping Practitioner, a former Major of the United States Army. Marci is passionate about helping youth find joy, balance, and purpose in a stressful world. She's one of the creator and voice behind the CourTools.

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blog image

Communication: The Words We Use Matter

April 03, 20234 min read

In April we focus on Communication, a vital skill for all humans and yet one that is not often modeled in the healthiest, most useful way. Ideally, our families would teach us how to communicate well (effectively, respectfully and purposefully) by doing so with each other. It would be amazing if kids saw and heard their parents, grandparents, older siblings and caregivers speaking kindly and clearly to each other, without unnecessary drama, manipulation, hate or derision. Words matter. The words we use matter. The way we use them matters too! Not just to the person hearing the words, but to the speaker. We deserve to speak our truth. We have a right to ask for what we need, to set boundaries and to share what matters most to us. AND we can do this in an authentic, compassionate, clear and kind way. Conversely, when someone is speaking to us, we have a right to object if they are being disrespectful, unkind, manipulative or untrue. True communication is about sharing openly, honestly and clearly. It requires a willingness to be vulnerable, patient, respectful and considerate from both sides of the conversation. Let’s look a 4 communication skills/pieces that are vital to true communication:

  1. Clarity. Brene Brown says “clear is kind” and we heard this! Working to clearly say what we mean (and it can be work) is a vital skill. We have been conditioned to make our language polite and while polite is a good instinct, it is also important to be honest and clear. Couching our language in politeness may hide the true meaning. Like when you need to draw a boundary or give some critical feedback, you may tend to try to soften the blow and deliver the message in an almost cryptic way, thinking you can hint your way at communicating the bad or hard news. The instinct is kind and yet if we don’t really communicate the true message, particularly in a collaborative or work environment, where we are expecting changed behavior - not so kind! The person may not understand the message. People will have their reactions to clear, direct language that conveys a less than pleasant message - that’s their right, and their business. Your business is to communicate the message clearly.

  2. Respect. So we need to be clear but we also need to be respectful and kind. Does that feel like a tight-rope to walk? That’s fair. It can be challenging. Like most skills, you have to practice it to get better. We all deserve respect and respect demands respect. What I mean is, being respectful does not mean accepting disrespect from others. Boundaries around disrespectful behavior is key. Treat others with respect and demand respect for yourself. That means it is perfectly fine and correct to end a conversation that is crossing your boundaries and feeling disrespectful to you. That’s not ok. Don’t accept it, don’t give it.

    important communication with kids
  3. Openness. Being open means open to hear something that maybe doesn’t mesh with your current belief or opinion. You don’t have to accept everything you hear, but be willing to hear it. Get curious. Try to see the other side. Be willing to be vulnerable and possibly even change your mind. That’s ok. That’s what you’re supposed to do when you receive compelling new evidence or information. You aren’t really communicating if your mind is closed to any new idea.  

  4. Active Listening. This is a therapy term but for our purposes it means actually listening to the person speaking. Stay focused on what they are saying. Ask questions to fully understand them. Brene Brown has an excellent tool she uses with her team or when interviewing someone. “Say More” - this prompts the speaker to elaborate on what they are saying and gives you an opportunity to better understand. It is good for everyone when someone asks for clarification (see #1 above).

sign language and good communication

These skills apply to when you are speaking and when you are listening. Actual communication requires both!

This month consider focusing on your communication skills. Maybe practice with someone close to you and see how it improves your relationship. Or be brave and practice with someone you are in conflict with. Maybe you can reach a better place together. See our CourTool called Creating Space and practice the skills. Listen to a meditation like “My Hand is Open” and see where that takes you! In these very interesting and trying times on Planet Earth we need effective communicators. People who can connect us - not divide. Won’t you help?

Every month we send out updates about what Cour Experiences is up to and how our tools can help empower you to live your absolute best life. If you would like to receive these updates straight to your inbox. Sign up for a monthly membership.

communication tool bv Cour Experience

or request a full-membership access for 7 Days!

communication tools - by cour experience

Communication skills for parentsParent-child communicationEffective communication with childrenActive listening for parentsTalking to your child about their mental healthCreating a safe space for communicationUsing clarity and respect in conversations with childrenSupporting your child's emotional well-being through communicationHelping your child open up about stress and anxietyTeaching children communication skills for managing mental healthMindful communication with your childBuilding resilience through communicationCommunicating boundaries with your childEncouraging openness in conversations with your childImproving family communication for better mental health
blog author image

Marci Mitchell

The Chief Operating Officer of Cour Experience, Inc. Certified EFT and TFT Tapping Practitioner, a former Major of the United States Army. Marci is passionate about helping youth find joy, balance, and purpose in a stressful world. She's one of the creator and voice behind the CourTools.

Back to Blog

We're on a mission to educate, inspire and transform lives, ages 4-104 using basic scientifically proven methods and tools to decrease stress, anxiety and to increase resiliency and overall well-being.

2365 Iron Point Road,

Folsom , CA 95630

(916) 340-5252

© 2019 Cour Experience Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Non-Profit 501c3 EIN: 84-3383699

We're on a mission to educate, inspire and transform lives, ages 4-104 using basic scientifically proven methods and tools to decrease stress, anxiety and to increase resiliency and overall well-being.

2365 Iron Point Road,

Folsom , CA 95630

(916) 340-5252

© 2019 Cour Experience Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Non-Profit 501c3 EIN: 84-3383699