3 Simple Communication Tips to Strengthen Relationship Bonds at Home & at Work

Written by Lyssa Menard

January 19, 2022

Understanding is Key to Close Relationships

Core to a successful relationship is confidence that the other person knows, cares for, validates, and accepts exactly who we are – that we’re understood. 

Love and trust can’t be achieved without this level of understanding. If your idea of who I am is different from how I see myself, I won’t be able to receive your love. It’s meant for some imaginary person, not me. 

Coming to understand another person and effectively communicating that understanding is the fuel that forges depth in relationships.

In a Global World, Understanding is Harder to Achieve & Convey

When we lived in closed communities, understanding each other was fairly straightforward. We all lived in the same soup. 

Now, when social connections are made virtually, with no geographical barriers, context is lost. To develop a modicum of understanding, deliberate action and effort is required. 

Often in communication, the signal (what you say) is not received or is misunderstood. 

3 Simple Ways to Convey Understanding 

  1. Reflective Listening – Listen attentively when your partner is speaking and summarize what they say, in their own words.

    Speaker: My house burned down.
    Receiver: Your house burned down?
  2. Reflective Listening with Modulation – Listen reflectively and add a comment that signals you understand both the circumstance and the emotional response.

    Visibly Distressed Speaker: My house burned down.
    Receiver: OMG! Your house burned down? How horrible.
  3. Understanding in Action – Listen reflectively with modulation and offer assistance, emotionally or logistically.

    Visibly Distressed Speaker: My house burned down.
    Receiver: OMG! Your house burned down? How horrible. How are you? How can I help?

These steps may seem absurdly simple, but that’s exactly why they work – no confusion is introduced. Reflecting what you’ve heard verbally puts you and the speaker on the same page and clears the way to understanding.

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