What is Empowered Communication?
It's a quality of communication that comes from a place of deep awareness, groundedness and acknowledgement of all parties in communication. That means acknowledging the various (even conflicting) parts of us, as well as all the other people involved.
It works towards a win-win for all communicating parties.
It means bravely stepping out of the shadows and saying our truth.
The whole truth. From a place of centred awareness and not from a wounded place.
Owning our vulnerability in the process and without projecting blame onto the other. Owning our response and allowing the other to respond in kind.
Also owning our personal (and energetic) space and setting appropriate boundaries. While keeping an open heart.
What are the elements of empowered communication?
- Honesty with ourselves first
- Owning our vulnerability AND our power
- Coming from a place of centred awareness
- Respecting the other and ourselves
- Owning our internal response, not projecting it out/seeking to blame
- Being mindful of the intention & purpose behind each communication
- Communicating openly - with ourselves and with others
The Benefits of empowered communication
- Your message lands in a way that feels better for everyone involved
- You feel free because you're not keeping your truth hidden inside you anymore but have learnt to communicate it openly
- You feel more connected - to yourself, and to other people
- Your relationships improve, and you don't end up in arguments spiralling out of control
- You have more inner peace and clarity of mind
- You feel more confident because you know you can always express yourself authentically and can influence situations for the better
- You are more persuasive without trying to be
- You ask for what you need in an appropriate way
- You have more energy and a sense of personal power
How to be an empowered communicator
- DON'T ASSUME, ASK INSTEAD. Rather than assume we know what the other person we're communicating with thinks or feels, we need to ASK them instead, and then let them speak.
- TRULY LISTEN. Giving the person time & space to say all they have to say, without jumping in with comments or composing a comeback in our head while they're still speaking. Treating them with the same respect and attention we would like to be treated with.
- PRACTISE SELF-AWARENESS. Looking under the surface of our knee-jerk reactions to situations. What is REALLY going on here? Might an earlier wound been triggered? Who within us reacted the way it did? It helps to see the present situation as unique and keep our emotional baggage to one side.
- BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO BE VULNERABLE. Vulnerability is not weakness, it takes strength to be vulnerable with one another. Vulnerability is necessary for deep connection in relationships. And when aiming for the win-win, connection is a very good thing. We need to own our vulnerability and strength at the same time, so we don't fall into the victim role and expect the other person to 'rescue us'.
- OWN YOUR EMOTIONS, NOT BLAME IT ON OTHERS. Taking responsibility for our emotional response. Being aware that we AREN'T our emotions, they are simply arising within us based on our interpretation of a situation. When expressing our side of the story, keeping our emotions as ours, and not projecting blame (or praise) for them onto the other person. (e.g. instead of saying "You made me feel unappreciated because you did X" try "When you did X, a part of me felt unappreciated." Then we can add what we would need instead, to feel a more constructive emotion/to achieve a win-win. But at all times, it's more empowering for both if we keep your responses ours and not the other person's fault).
- DON'T TRY TO FIX OTHERS. Let's give the other people we're communicating with the respect they deserve and not try to fix them in any way. We need to trust that they are the expert in their own life, they are on their own unique life path and that they are doing the best they can at any moment (as we all are). Whilst it can be helpful to contribute our perspective, it may be detrimental to our relationship and the outcome of the communication if we impose our advice on them.
Empowered communication is quite an art. It's a constant dance between being aware of what's going on inside us, being aware of the other person, and it requires a balance between expressing ourselves truthfully, being vulnerable, and owning our power at the same time.
I hope this post helps you get a little clearer on how you can master this art a step at a time and become an even more empowered communicator!