3 Steps Toward Authentic Communication

    Technology gives us an endless stream of new ways to communicate. Yet, no matter what technology bestows upon us next, nothing will change the essence of what it takes to relate well with each other. Authentic communication is arguably the most important event that makes our world work well.

    So what are the timeless ingredients of authentic communication?

    We’ve talked about two steps already this week, releasing judgment through forgiveness and sacred listening in which we set aside our personal agenda to fully engage the world of the other person. These two actions set the stage for the third essential ingredient—honest self-expression.

    To express yourself honestly and be heard, it’s important to set the stage with good rapport. That’s where forgiveness and sacred listening come in—they create a safe environment and a receptive audience. When you let go of judgments toward another, you accept them as they are. When you truly listen to them, you go one step farther to build a connection of trust.

    Then, it is your turn to speak.

    At this point, you’ve had the opportunity to understand some of the other person’s point of view, so you will know how to frame what you have to say in a way that makes more sense in their world. You’ll also have someone who is more willing to listen to you, because you have begun by listening to them. With that backdrop, you have paved the way for honest self-expression.

    When you express yourself honestly, your purpose is to allow the other person into your world and to convey your perspective, especially on a feeling level. Because of the first two steps of authentic communication—forgiveness and sacred listening—you have reduced resistance on all sides and prepared a safe space in which to express yourself fully.

    As you do so, continue to watch for judgment, blaming, and projection. Own your side of the communication. Take personal responsibility for your reactions and responses without placing how you feel onto others or circumstances. You could say, “When you said this, or when that happened, I felt this way.” No matter what is said or what happens, you have a choice in how you respond. When you express yourself, take responsibility for the way you’ve responded, while also communicating your perspective and feelings.

    Authentic communication is the key to successful relationships—and relationships are the lifeblood of everything that works well. Using the three steps above, you can resolve any conflict and create the conditions for the greatest good. Authentic communication is an essential skill that we can grow together.


    Kevin Schoeninger

    P.S. At Spiritual Growth Monthly, we support each other to communicate authentically and realize our highest possibilities

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