Can You Hear Me Now?
I think it was a Verizon commercial that first brought the phrase, “can you hear me now?” to the forefront of almost every conversation we have. I’m actually not sure why Smartphones are called phones at all. The sound quality is awful and reception spotty at best for many of us, prompting all of us to have to repeat that phrase multiple times a day. And now, of course, we hear it on video conferencing calls all of the time. Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?
But if we consider that phrase from a deeper perspective, it might be more valuable to say, do you hear me? Are you really listening to what I’m saying? These phrases speak to effective communication which we’re sorely lacking in these days.
Steven Covey, perhaps best known for his best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” And that is the crux of the problem. Many of us spend most conversations thinking about what we’re going to say next. Or judging the speaker for whatever they’re saying, or thinking about what we need to do or where we need to go as soon as the current conversation is over. In some cases, we’re so focused on what’s next, we’ll start trying to predict what the other person is going to say and even start filling in words for them to hurry them along.
Communication basically consists of two factors - listening and speaking. And of those two, listening is the most important. Without genuinely listening, we’re not hearing what the person is conveying and that diminishes trust, reduces empathy and results in miscommunication, all of which can lead to a breakdown in relationships.
Mindful communication is definitely one solution to our communication challenges, but first I want to share a conversation I had with Kathy Gruver to ask why she thinks we struggle with communicating well. Kathy Gruver is an award-winning author, professional speaker, and coach with over 30 years of experience in mind/body medicine and human behavior. An entertainer and educator imbuing all of her programs with practicality and passion. Kathy has written eight books which have garnered 12 awards, hosted a TV series based on her first book, developed a stress reduction program for the US military, and cohosts the Fire and Earth Podcast. She has penned countless articles and appears regularly as a guest in print media, radio, and TV, most recently appearing on the Dr. Phil Show. She has earned her PhD in natural health and has studied mind-body medicine at the famed Benson Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard.
Thanks again to Kathy for sharing her wisdom with us. Her book, “Say What?! How to Communicate Anything to Anyone” is available now.
We can apply mindfulness principles to our communications to greatly enhance conversations, as well as to strengthen our relationships, by setting an intention before the conversation, being fully present during the conversation, and remaining open and nonjudgmental throughout the conversation.
Until next time. Stay well, be kind to yourself and others, and remember to be mindful, including in your conversations.
Have a wonderful week.
Mindfulness increases our emotional, physical and mental well-being. It can also enhance our focus and productivity. Perhaps most importantly, mindfulness strengthens our empathy and compassion for others, which I believe we need more of in our world today. So, practice mindfulness in everything you do. Spend at least a little time meditating every day. And remember to be kind to yourself and others.
We’re here to do more than just survive. We can thrive. And it all starts with A Mindful Moment.