Here is a helpful and insightful article from Guest Contributor, Jayaraja from Human Matters:
Intention is key.
In Mindful Communication our intention is to create a quality of connection with ourselves and others that value everyone’s needs.
THREE ESSENTIAL PROCESSES
Mindful communication helps us become more conscious of our actions and words through three essential processes:
1. Mindful Inner Dialogue: we listen sensitively to our inner world, present to the sensations in our body, the feelings and images and aware of our thoughts. We use these as a guide to help understand what needs and values are alive for us.
Having listened to ourselves we then chose either Mindful Expression or Mindful Listening.
2. Mindful Expression: We speak with respect and sensitivity, clearly expressing our perception needs and values. Avoiding any sense of mixing criticism or judgement with our observation. We are aware that the person we are speaking with has an inner life and is also trying to meet needs.
3. Mindful Listening: We listen with awareness, respect and curiosity, not just to the words but the body language, facial expression and tone of the other person focusing our attention on what the other person is experiencing and their needs and values.
Mindful Communication starts with Mindful Inner Dialogue. Taking a moment to connect with ourselves in order to understand what we are feeling and what needs and values are present for us. Connecting with our body the sensations, images and feelings and lastly thoughts not only helps build emotional resilience but also contributes to a sense of inner peace and balance. From this centred place we can choose:
- Mindful Expression: In a clear and respectful way expressing ourselves.
- Mindful Listening: focusing both on the words and emotional aspects of the communication. We are attentive to the needs of the other person and the emotions that move them.
- Mindful Inner Dialogue: Continuing to stay in touch with ourselves and not necessarily saying anything except to maybe ask for a moment.
FOUR KEY ELEMENTS
In each of the essential processes, we focus our attention on the same four key elements.
1. Observation: we are conscious of what we see, hear, remember or imagine. We need to distinguish our observations from our interpretation and judgements. What we think or how we interpret our experience of an event will most likely be different from someone else, based on our different histories, disposition, bias and perspective. We express as accurately as possible what we see, hear, remember or imagine free of our judgements and interpretations.
2. Feelings: are sensations that inform of our needs and values. Pleasant feelings let us know our needs are being met. Unpleasant feelings tell us that our needs or values are not being met.
3. Needs and Values: are what contribute to our health and wellbeing and that of others. It is helpful to be clear of the primary need before searching for a solution or strategy to meet the need.
4. Requests: in a request we attempt to meet our need with a specific action. We can make a request to ourselves or to others.
Mindful Communication is a synthesis of; the work of Marshall Rosenberg Nonviolent Communication, Interpersonal Neurobiology - Dan Siegel, Gestalt Psychotherapy and Buddhism.