Keys to Successful Communication – 3 ways to up your communication skills

Danny Silk

We all want to be better communicators. However, when you have been accustomed to communicating in a specific way, it can seem hard to change that pattern.

Changing your communication style is possible, though, if you can learn to ask yourself three simple questions. These questions will create greater awareness of how you are communicating and what you need in order to achieve successful communication.

Question #1: “What is the goal of this conversation? Am I seeking to agree or understand?”

Talking and communicating are not the same thing. Talking isn’t communication unless it has a goal. For most of us, our goal in communication is agreement. However, when agreement is the goal, you are in essence communicating there can only be one person who is right in a conversation. This goal contributes to disconnection. If you want to move toward connection, then the goal of communication cannot be agreement, because then one person has to disappear when there is disagreement. In order to prioritize connection, the goal of communication must be to understand: “I want to understand your perspective and the truth of what is happening inside of you.” Pursuing the goal of understanding will help you progress through increasingly deeper levels of honesty in order to build true intimacy and trust in a relationship.

Question #2: “What do I need, and am I communicating what I need?”

The only way you can build a heart-to-heart connection with someone is to communicate on a heart level about your feelings and needs. This is the level where you express vulnerability and build trust. In expressing your needs, you must also be open to hearing the needs of the other person. Understanding one another’s needs is the Holy Grail of communication. If you can find out what the other person needs in a conversation and find out how to satisfy that need, then it changes everything!

Question #3: “Am I communicating like a powerful person, or a powerless person?”

Powerless people are afraid of the truth. This leads them to communicate in one of three styles: passive communication, aggressive communication, or passive-aggressive communication.

1. Passive communicators attempt to convince the world that everyone else is more important than they are. Their core belief is: “You matter; I don’t.”

 2. Aggressive communicators are the “T-Rex” communicators. Their core belief is: “I matter, you don’t!”

3.Passive-aggressive communicators are the most devious of the fear-based communication styles. It is the worst of being passive and the worst of being aggressive. Their core belief is: “You matter…no, not really.”

Powerful people are not afraid of the truth. They love the truth, and as a result, they use an assertive communication style. The core belief of an assertive communicator is: “You matter, and so do I.” Assertive communicators refuse to have relationships or conversations where both people do not have a high equal value. They are not afraid to show the other person what is happening inside them. The core values of honor and mutual respect are what assertive communicators protect as they interact.

Keep these steps in mind the next time you have a disagreement. You can have successful communication!

P.S. If you haven’t checked out the relationship course at the Life Academy, it’s a great resource in helping you grow in your communication and connection, check it out today!

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  1. A great reminder. Yes, you taught me this back in BSSM and I forgot how POWERFUL it still is. Posting in everywhere today, my Journal, my FB Wall, my Mirror, and my Heart. THANKS, Doc!

  2. Thank you, thank you. this is so helpful.
    My husband and I have struggled to learn how
    to communicate for years. We are going to
    pursue this.

  3. My husband is all about what God/Bible says on unity, agreement and order in the family (wives submit to husbands). Where in the Bible can I base this teaching on so we know that it is what God wants and not just another worldly feel-good psychological theory? Thank you!

    1. Good for him! Being Bible-based is important. This will unwittingly force you to be good at defending your beliefs biblically, which is also healthy.
      Not knowing your husband, I will give some general comments. My ignorance of your situation requires you to discern what is applicable and what is not.
      I would start by pointing him to God’s conversations with man in the Bible. God is clearly the spiritual leader over man, yet he talks with respect and even asks for our opinions respectfully (e.g. Abraham & Sodom destruction, Adam in the garden after sin). Read through God’s conversations with humans (conversations that don’t include sin) and God always seems to follow Danny’s rules, lol. It is only in the context of sinful rebellion that God gets a frown on his face and throws lightning bolts–but that’s a chat for another time.
      Second I would confirm that your husband’s idea of "submission" is biblical. The disciples submit to Jesus (and Jesus washes their feet), we submit to Jesus (and he sacrifices his entire life to make us holy and pure), but what happened first? The leader takes the initiative first. God, Jesus, your husband all act before any submission has occured. His job as a husband has nothing to do with your submission. His job is loving you purely. Period. Regardless of your actions. Submission was a comment to you as a wife not him. Even God himself doesn’t MAKE people submit to them (until the end of things). Jesus didn’t MAKE the disciples submit to him either. God simply lets everyone know that submission is the wise course of action.
      Furthermore, for you as a wife to submit in a godly way, it REQUIRES you to call your husband to account when he says/does something ungodly. God will use you to show him things. No one wants to stand before the judgement seat and have God tell us "Why did you let your spouse say all those things to you? Why didn’t you speak up? By not calling him/her to account, you actually prevented them from growing."

  4. Thanks, Danny for your teaching. I look forward to your blogs! I find it difficult when making the necessary changes in communication with those that you have known for years, or family, and they have not read/heard your teaching. When disrespect is exhibited and I need to make the decision that until respect can be added in the conversation, I am out, the accusations start of harshness, judgement and the list goes on. Am I the only one that goes through this? I was a typical passive communicator for years. Since I have determined that everyone in relationship has worth and what they feel/need has value (even me🙃) it’s opened up a malestorm of ‘stuff’. On one hand, it is what it is, on the other, I find it disconcerting. I am free now, and the relationships I have are healthy, for the first time in 64 years, but I must confess that it isn’t always the most smooth road…with that said, I am not sorry about the changes I have made, and quite honestly wouldn’t know how to go back to the swallowing of all my emotions, for the benefit of others. It’s just been a challenging journey when people know you to be a certain way and there comes a radical change in expression of self…

    1. Donna, love your comment. I’m from your generation and it has taken me 7 years to totally? break thru. (there’s always more) it feels so good and empowering and I am now able to love those who treated me poorly and who expected me to fall in line with their attitudes. I am free and they are beginning to get free. It was a journey though and a bit bumpy at times. Like a 4 wheel drive pickup with extra suspension bumpy trip. God’s love is so freeing. Its hard to describe in words. I love Him so much.

  5. Thanks for the communication. It is so important in todays world of false idenity to be able to communicate well. I will remember these points.

  6. Dear Danny,
    I have a desire for heart to heart communication that builds up and not devastate. Thank you for showing me the track to take.
    Donna

  7. This seems to answer a question on my mind relating to communication with my daughter. I am looking forward to applying it immediately. Thank you!

  8. My husband and I have been practicing this and it has helped us so much.
    It has truly helped us really think about what we are trying to communicate.
    Again, thank you so much for your amazing input.

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