The practice of mindful communication is inextricably linked to the teachings of connection theory, with the two concepts serving each other in a symbiotic relationship. Mindful communication not only begets feelings of self-connection, but it also increases our ability to connect with others. It is indeed an essential tool for the journey of connected living.
The Benefits Of Mindful Communication
Training yourself to mindfully communicate – or at least be self-reflective about your style of communication – helps bring into focus your values and priorities, and leads to greater intimacy in all types of interpersonal relationships, from the intimate to the professional.
In professional environments, it’s becoming clear that leaders who communicate mindfully are likely to foster greater success and more respect from their teams – as well as optimizing workplace culture and improving staff retention rates. Team members who are mindful communicators also will often achieve greater efficiency and quality of results, thanks to their skill at avoiding misunderstandings and defusing interpersonal friction with those they work with. They will also find it easier to cultivate mentors, gain respect, learn from their experiences, and train others.
On a personal level, learning to engage in mindful communication may have a number of other beneficial effects, as well:
- Increased empathy for others
- A reduction in stress levels
- Fewer feelings of isolation or loneliness
- A greater capacity to relate to others
- More trusting and intimate relationships
- Sustained improvements in overall well-being.
How mindful communication supports self-connection
Mindful communication requires a level of self-awareness and presence that simultaneously facilitates and strengthens your levels of self-connection. Simply being present in your conversations with others presents an opportunity to listen actively and monitor your internal reactions as they speak. This continuing practice of self-awareness allows you to recenter yourself, if necessary, and respond wisely from a connected state of being. You are attentive both to the other person, and your own needs.
The benefits for your conversation partner are a sense of feeling heard and valued in their opinions – while the benefits for you are the empowered feeling of having responded in a style that honors your values and belief systems. You are living in alignment.
Why the WHY matters so much
Mindful communication is a practice that can be developed over time, like a muscle, but your ability to become a consistently mindful communicator depends on having a clear intention in mind. Put simply, you need to be clear about why you are trying to communicate mindfully – whether it be with an individual, or in a particular environment like work.
Your why will typically tie in with a personal value or priority you hold dear. This might be respecting the ones you love, maintaining a beginner’s mind, honoring a desire to learn, or helping others – the reasons are many and varied. The great news is that connecting with your true motivations to be mindful in your communication will increase both your inclination and ability to practice this art.
Moreover, by advancing those motivating values, you are deepening your levels of self-connection, and living in alignment with your priorities.