How do we demonstrate mindful communication?

Focusing on the purpose of the moment; truly valuing others; being respectful, thoughtful, and intentional in everything you do: these are all essential components of mindfulness. But the first and most fundamental aspect of mindfulness is the way in which you communicate. Everything else revolves around communication, since it is the cornerstone of all instruction, training, collaboration, and interpersonal interaction.

Body language and non-verbal cues are an important element of communication, but the words you choose and how you speak them has an immeasurable impact on your personal and professional relationships.

The following aspects of mindful communication are a good starting point for your future efforts:

Be Humble

Accept others as equally important, regardless of what they do for a living, where they live, how they dress, or what they look like. Your words are a reflection of your thoughts, and your words betray your thoughts just as quickly and surely as your actions. Speak to others the way you would like others to speak to you if your roles were reversed, with respect and consideration, regardless of the circumstances. Even frank conversations can be handled respectfully and humbly.

Speak Clearly and Concisely 

Precision, clarity, and brevity do more to help us avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding than anything else. No matter how clear and concise you believe you have been, always ask if there are any questions. If you foster a culture of openness and trust, you will be surprised to discover how often that which you believe to have been clearly communicated actually needs to be clarified.

Practice Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication includes the way you use your body, eye contact, facial expressions, your energetic field (more on this in my next newsletter), and your capacity to hold space with your presence.

  • Be aware of the appropriateness of making gentle eye contact when you are speaking; in some cultures, it is inappropriate to make direct eye contact. Relax. Breathe and be aware of your audience.
  • Smile. Practice having kind eyes. Be open and listen with care. There is no logarithm for the perfect use of hand movements, so don’t obsess about finding one.
  • People want to communicate with others who care about them. Non-verbal communication is about demonstrating your true care and concern.

Mindfulness is an embodied way of being and living. It is a way of seeing another and allowing for the other to see you. One becomes more enlivened with mindful awareness because you focus, with attention to the other in a space of loving kindness. Your defenses are not at the forefront of your communication style. Instead, you may want to begin with an open mind and heart, to really connect with the other person.

Mindful communication requires effort and dedication. It is a skill well-worth practicing and can be highly rewarding. It is a way to exchange with another in a space of calm and connection.