Communicate

Happy Tuesday! 
This month, I had the honor of being a guest coach for another group that is coached by a lady I met in a mastermind I was in a few months back. She asked me to coach on communication as it pertains to every situation, not only in relationships. I thought today, I’d share some of those nuggets with you! 

Ever wonder why so many fights start over Facebook? Aside from the fact that everyone seems to be a keyboard warrior, people all have differing opinions because we are complicated individuals with complicated emotions and experiences. It’s also because communication is made up of 58% body language, 35% tone of voice and only 7% words used. That means that 93% of the communication we receive over social media, text message or through a blog post can easily be misconstrued due to not seeing the person’s body language or hearing their tone. 

Here are 5 quick communication tips for improving all relationships! 

1. Positive Sentiment Override. 
      Stable relationships have a 5:1 positive to negative comment ratio in them. The old addage that “those who are appreciated will always do more than is expected” absolutely applies in business, parenting and in marriage. If you aren’t appreciated by your boss, do you want to do more for your job? If your kids are always being asked to do things for you without a thank you, do they want to help more? What about your spouse? Do you want to do for them when you feel like they’re negative and coming down on you all the time? Check yourself first. How can you offer more positive comments to those in your circle? 

2. Listen! 
     You were given 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. Use accordingly. 

3. Soft Startups. 
     We need to talk, You always, You never. Think of communication like a gate. Using these phrases immediately closes the gate and builds a wall behind it. Instead, try saying something like “Hey, when you’re in the headspace to discuss finances (this morning’s meeting, your grades) let me know.” This gives the person you’re needing to speak with a heads up and allows them to meet their basic needs so they can show up to the conversation more fully, prepared and ready to be present and calm. 

4. “I notice and I’m wondering…” 
     This is an emotionally healthy technique to starting a conversation around something someone has done that you’re irritated with. For example, your child or your spouse leaves their clothes on the bathroom floor…again. You’ve only had this conversation about 300,000 times. So rather than losing your sh*t…again, try starting with “I notice that your clothes are on the bathroom floor and I’m wondering if you remember the conversation we’ve had regarding this.” This is not only a soft startup, it’s friendly reminder, provided that you aren’t using a condescending tone. “I notice that you haven’t finished your part of our project yet and I’m wondering if you need help or if you want to have a lunch meeting to discuss some ideas.” A very polite way of saying, Hey…get on it, pal! 

5. Basic Needs! 
     You have to meet your basic needs of food, water and sleep before you can politely and rationally engage in a serious conversation. Think of it like a toddler throwing a tantrum in the middle of Target. They’re probably tired or hungry. They aren’t trying to be a brat on purpose. You’re not much different and neither are the people you’re engaging with. If your boss is hungry and you throw a major decision their way or a fire they need to put out without warning, they’re probably going to respond a little more aggressively than they would normally. Same with your spouse if you throw a budget question at them as soon as they walk in from a long day at work. Meet your basic needs, ask if they’re in the headspace and then engage. 

Hopefully this helps and if you’d like even more communication tools you can start implimenting immediately to connect with your partner, sign up for my FREE 3 day challenge starting TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 7 at 6PM CST! This is only through Zoom and exclusive to only those who sign up! You’ll get an email reminder of when we’re going live and an email of the replay afterwards! Can’t wait to see you there!  

XOXO, 

Kameran 

The #1 Complaint of Women

I CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT IT!

Last night we went to the grocery store. I’d already spent the last two hours planning meals for the week, making the grocery list and praying that the grocery stores had stocked what I needed for this week. That winter storm straight up took Houston OUT! Remember the toilet paper shortage in 2020? Yeah, that’s coffee creamer right now. You cannot find good coffee creamer An-y-where! #FirstWorldProblems

Before leaving, I’d grabbed a bottle, made sure the diaper bag was stocked, grabbed a Yeti of Hot water to heat the bottle and could’ve bet my life on the fact that I grabbed the diaper bag too. Two hours later when I needed said bottle, I had the hot water and a fussy baby but….no diaper bag or bottle. I was so irritated that I couldn’t find it! After going all the way back home, my husband found it on the chair, right where I’d left it. How could I have forgotten the most important item for my baby? HELLO!

After a short shame spiral, I remembered a post I’d read on Facebook earlier in the week asking what the number one complaint of all women was in their marriages. Mental overload. 

I realized that it’s not only women who are married and not only pertaining to married life. It’s mental overload in general. More people than ever are coming to me for coaching. Lost, lonely, questioning their career choice, their abilities as a parent, their abilities as a spouse, and completely bogged down with decision overload. 

Where do we go for Spring Break that won’t break the bank? Where do we go that’s actually open because of Covid? Do I want to quit my job? Do I want a different career path? Do I start a business? Do I want a nap or to clean the house? Is my headache because of dehydration or something else? What do we make for dinner? When was the last time my kid had a well check? What’s due for my job? How many times have I run this load through the washer? Is this chicken in the fridge from three days ago or three weeks ago? My kid has what form due for middle school class selection? That expiration date is 2021, that’s a ways a way. Oh wait, we’re in 2021. What the….? 

Mental Overload. It’s a very real thing and I’m just going to say, if you’re not experiencing it, you are either a unicorn or a liar. 

I’m not sure there is one right answer to overcoming the mental overload but what I can say is that GRACE is the most important help right now. Grace for yourself and grace for others. Communication is second. Send the friendly reminders for dates and commitments others are involved in. Set alarms for yourself. Write the lists. If someone forgets something, understand that it’s probably not intentional. It’s probably because they’re just as mentally overloaded as you are. If you receive a friendly reminder and didn’t need it, that’s fine. Accept it with grace and thank them for sending it anyway. There may come a time when you do need it. Third, ask not how you can help. I’m finding that people’s response of “oh, nothing. It’s ok” or “I’ve got it” is just as canned as “I’m fine” when you ask how they’re doing. Ask your spouse if you can meal plan this week or what chore is at the top of their list. Ask what decisions need to be made that are weighing them down and how you can be a part of that process. Ask what meal your friend who just had surgery would like. Ask specifics. Can you take your niece and nephew for the day to help your sister in law out? Can you come sit with your new mom friend and do her dishes or fold her laundry or can you drop a coffee at her doorstep because she’s not in the mood for company but really just needs a pick me up? 

When someone says they forgot something or they sound like they’re really down on themselves, simply offer grace. A sincere “it’s really ok. Don’t worry about it.”

When that someone is you, look in the mirror and say that same response out loud. 

XOXO,
Kameran

P.S.- ┬áToday is my 37th birthday! If you are questioning your purpose, wanting a different career or wanting to dig deep into who you are and who you were made to be, I am running a flash sale until this Friday on the YOUNIQUE course! 37% off! It’s normally $1,794 but this week only it’s $1,133 paid in full! Payment plans are available!! This is THE course that pulled me out of my depression 3 years ago, gave me the neon flashing sign from God that put me into coaching and gave me the ability to wake up every day knowing without a shadow of a doubt that this is what I was made for! I leave every coaching call with more energy than when I got on the call. This is the ONLY program I have that is not relationship based and I will always keep it because it’s helped so many and I believe so strongly in what it does for every single person who takes it! If this sounds like what you need, get in NOW! I only open it up twice a year and it will NEVER be priced this low again! Click here to sign up!

How Clear Is Your Communication?

Every person has a fight style and a communication style. 

But what happens when the two combine? When you’re upset with your partner, how do you communicate? 

In many of the couples I work with, when an argument ensues, one of the parties will brush their wants and needs under the rug. Your partner comes in and asks “What’s wrong?” You answer with a harsh “nothing.” Your words (7% of your communication) say nothing. But your tone and body language (93% of your communication) say “something BIG”. 

Understand a few things here. 
1. Your partner is not you, they do not think, feel, communicate or operate the way you do.
2. Your partner is not a mind reader. Without clear, concise communication, your partner will not understand what you want them to. 
3. Your feelings, thoughts, irritations, triggers, etc are your responsibility. Communication is imperative to living a happy, fulfilled life with your partner. 

So let’s go back to our scenario. If you are upset with your partner, it’s your responsibility to let them know why you’re upset. If you are communicating “nothing” then their reaction is going to reflect that nothing is wrong and this is something you are working through on your own. The problem becomes deeper and a solution is never found. Additionally, this is a toxic behavior that is started when we begin dating as teenagers and we take this behavior with us through each relationship until we eventually recognize it for what it is and let it go for a more mature response. On a deeper level, we are hoping that our partner recognizes their own wrongdoing without us having to communicate it but that only leads to more disappointment when that hope is lost. 

So what’s the most effective way to communicate? 

Most wrongdoings between partners are simply because of mindlessness, not malice. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt (antidote) instead of assuming the worst (poison). 

Communicate a clear message that covers both the surface and the deeper levels. “I am upset because you said you would…. and you didn’t. I feel that you didn’t keep your word and I am disappointed because that lessened the character I believe you to have and left me feeling abandoned.” 

Sounds like a bunch of psychobabble BS, right? Ok follow me here. A simple 2-3 sentence message like this is powerful to the nth degree. Here’s why. 

  • I statements (I am..I feel…) take responsibility for your feelings and avoid blame, shame or guilt of the other party. It keeps the gate of communication open instead of saying “You didn’t keep your word” which then triggers defensiveness. 
  • You’re not sweeping your feelings under the rug. You’re validating yourself, your feelings and your equal partnership in this relationship. 
  • You’re hitting the underlying problem (abandonment and lessened character) which could be a repeated problem in your relationship. 
  • Simply stating facts avoids whining (defensiveness) or using contempt (communicating that you’re superior to your partner).
  • Saying “I’m upset that you said you would (a behavior), lessened the character I believe you to have (behavior), you’re complaining about the behavior, not criticizing the overall character of your partner. This avoids later problems and is more easily accepted than criticism. 
  • By shortening the message, it’s easier for your partner to hear, understand and stay focused than having a long, drawn out explanation. This hits high points, details and communicates needs. Everyone wins. 
  • A statement like this is less likely to escalate the conversation which avoids more hurt and promotes a healing, solution oriented environment instead. 

This message leaves an opening for your partner to now reply with a calmer, more productive feedback of “I’m sorry for leaving you abandoned and not keeping my word. In the future, I will…” 

I understand that toxic patterns of behavior are difficult to break but in an ideal relationship, communication and arguments are handled calmly, rationally and a lot less heated. If you’re trying to uplevel your relationship, this is the framework you’re ultimately working toward. It eliminates the 4 deadly horsemen of the apocalypse as well as gas-lighting which are all high indicators of divorce. 

I can tell you from experience in changing this exact behavior in myself, the latter, more effective communication technique produces much more satisfying results in the short and the long run.

I hope this helps your relationships and helps everyone move forward in a healthier manner.