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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Everyone knows it's not what you say but how you say it. Communicating effectively involves these main considerations and others. Relationship building is the foundation of excellent communication. You must know people intimately to ensure your messages are not lost. People are created differently. They think, perceive and process information differently. Messages can be lost when we don't pay proper attention to the process of effective communication or understand the composition of the people we are speaking to. There are four essential elements of communication:

The mind. The mind contains the knowledge and information needed to construct a message. Communication begins with a thought that you want to share, personal, professional, spiritual. Your mind organizes the thought and prepares it for distribution.

The heart. The heart contains the emotional history of past relationships that make communicating the message weak or strong. The heart has a relationship inventory that is used to filter the message. If those filters are laced with hurt, pain or unresolved conflicts the message will not be communicated with the degree of authenticity needed to be properly received by your audience

The lens. The lens is how you view the person in receipt of your message. Do you respect the person? Do you trust the person? Do you believe the person? If the person a credible influence in your life? The manner in which you view people determines the medium in which you deliver the message.

The mouth. The mouth is the vehicle used to deliver the message. The mouth has controls used to send the message, volume, tone, context and attitude. The communicator must check the controls and make sure they are not derogatory. If so, the message will be lost and the response or feedback not favorable.

The person on the receiving end of the message also has a process which determines how the message will be received. The process is the same with one exception, relevance. Relevance includes the level of respect and interaction needed for the communication stream to exist. Once the listener determines the credibility of the messenger, he/she begins to process the communication in their mind, heart, lens and mouth.

Communication is indeed a two-way street. Effective communication can only occur through a deliberate attempt to develop positive, engaging and uplifting relationships with those we live with, work with and love.

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