It has long been stated opposites attract. The Number One reason for divorce is incompatibility. The Number One reason people come to New Hope Counseling Service, simply stated, is: We have a breakdown in communication.
These scattered letters I, L, E, N, T, S are emblematic of two aspects of conversation. Unscrambled they spell Silent and Listen. In the realm of verbal communication what is said often comes across garbled. Hence we hear such responses as: “What did you say?” “What do you mean?” “Why are you saying that that way?”
In an automobile sales training class I learned a valuable lesson applicable and beneficial in all areas of life – personal, social and professional.
In the context of selling the lesson was: If you listen carefully the prospect will tell you how to sell them an automobile.
I learned this sales tool in September 1968. In 1970 I was the Number One salesman for Chrysler/Plymouth, Group C dealerships in Virginia and Number Two in the Washington D. C. District. Listening carefully paid me big bucks.
At New Hope this tool has helped 70% of our counselees effectively deal with communications problems needing to be resolved. Listening carefully can keep relationships and families together.
A breakdown in communication can develop between any two or more people growing out of almost any conceivable circumstance or situation.
Because communication is such a volatile issue we couple this teaching with two previously introduced tools: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure and Attack the Problem and Not the Person.
Unresolved anger and unresolved resentment are hotbeds for sparking a breakdown in communication. I refer to these issues as junk in our trunk.
Although there are no easy answers to this type of dilemma there are solutions to every problem.
Facing continuing and/or impending communication confrontations should serve as an alert to be prepared – not to argue but to listen. If you will endure the verbal onslaught (listen) you will actually hear the underlying complaint. Until you know the name of the problem, as we learned earlier, you’ll never be able to determine the solution.
To completely resolve a breakdown in communication we need to employ the tenets of our next problem-solving tool:
We can change our actions faster than we can change our feelings.
Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service and on the Board of Advisors of the Virginia Christian Alliance