Essentials for Effective Family Communication (Building Your Future)

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In unhealthy family relationships, communication tends to be very masked and indirect. An example of this type of communication might be the father stating, "The youth of today are very lazy. One of the most difficult challenges facing families today is finding time to spend together.

The common denominators - people and communication

With our busy schedules, it is difficult to find sufficient time to spend with one another in meaningful conversation. It is extremely important for families to make time to communicate. Talk in the car; turn the TV off and eat dinner together; schedule informal or formal family meetings to talk about important issues that affect your family; and talk to your children at bedtime. There are many creative ways to make time to communicate with other family members. Healthy families communicate their thoughts and feelings in a clear and direct manner.

This is especially important when attempting to resolve problems that arise between family members e.

The Art of Communicating

Indirect and vague communication will not only fail to resolve problems, but will also contribute to a lack of intimacy and emotional bonding between family members. An essential aspect of effective communication is listening to what others are saying. Being an active listener involves trying your best to understand the point of view of the other person. Whether you are listening to a spouse or a child, it is important to pay close attention to their verbal and non-verbal messages.

As an active listener, you must acknowledge and respect the other person's perspective. For example, when listening to a spouse or child, you should nod your head or say, "I understand," which conveys to the other person that you care about what he or she has to say.

Another aspect of active listening is seeking clarification if you do not understand the other family member. This can be done by simply asking, "What did you mean when you said..? Not all family members communicate in the same manner or at the same level. This is especially true of young children. When communicating with young children, it is important for adults to listen carefully to what the children are saying without making unwarranted assumptions. It is also important to take into consideration the ages and maturity levels of children. Parents cannot communicate with children in the same way that they communicate with their spouse because the child may not be old enough to understand.

In addition to carefully listening to what is being said, effective communicators also pay close attention to the non-verbal behaviors of other family members. For example, a spouse or child may say something verbally, but their facial expressions or body language may be telling you something completely different. In cases such as these, it is important to find out how the person is really feeling.

While it is often necessary to address problems between family members, or to deal with negative situations, effective communication is primarily positive. Marital and family researchers have discovered that unhappy family relationships are often the result of negative communication patterns e. In fact, John Gottman and his colleagues have found that satisfied married couples had five positive interactions to every one negative interaction Gottman, Couples who are very dissatisfied with their relationships typically engage in more negative interactions than positive.

It is very important for family members to verbally compliment and encourage one another. Communication is a key to successful family functioning. No matter, the CEO told himself; he'd made his point. After his speech, the CEO called one of his lieutenants over. By the way, who was he? He was bringing us lunch, and he sure appreciated the tip you gave him.

Why communication is essential for great leaders - The Globe and Mail

Before you speak, know your audience. Listen and ask questions. Notice the nonverbal cues, and pay attention to people's reactions, facial expressions, gestures, and mood. Otherwise, you could be communicating the wrong message to the wrong people. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

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Log in Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe? Communication is central to this task in many ways. For example, it enables planners, when identifying and formulating development programmes, to consult with people in order to take into account their needs, attitudes and traditional knowledge. Only with communication will the project beneficiaries become the principal actors to make development programmes successful.

Helping people at all levels to communicate empowers them to recognise important issues and find common grounds for action, and builds a sense of identity and participation in order to implement their decisions. On top of that, development involves change, new ways of doing things. Will people have the confidence to make a project work? Will they acquire the new knowledge and skills they need? How can barriers of illiteracy be overcome?

The Globe and Mail

Communication media and techniques can be powerful tools to advise people about new ideas and methods, to encourage adoption of those ideas and methods, and to improve training overall. Communication approaches are also invaluable for improved coordination and teamwork to manage development programmes, and to gain institutional support. We live in a communication age, and the full impact of communication on development is just starting to be seen.

Based on the experience of FAO and other agencies, communication for development has reached the stage where it can have a noticeable and rewarding effect on many development programmes. This booklet not only promotes the concept of development communication but, more important, it also describes how achieving its full potential to support development requires executive decisions by national planners and policy-makers.

A decisive role can be played by communication in promoting human development in today's new climate of social change. As the world moves towards greater democracy, decentralization and the market economy, conditions are becoming more favourable for people to start steering their own course of change. But it is vital to stimulate their awareness, participation and capabilities. Communication skills and technology are central to this task, but at present are often underutilized. Policies are needed that encourage effective planning and implementation of communication programmes.

Major changes and new emphases have appeared on the development scene. Societies are opening to debate and markets to individual initiative; privatisation and entrepreneurship are being encouraged; new technologies are becoming widely available; management of government services is gradually being relocated closer to the users, if not handed over directly to users themselves, in order to cut costs and seek partners more committed to effective implementation.

Indeed, a host of structural adjustments are profoundly affecting most aspects of production and human interaction. These structural adjustments make demands, and have direct economic and social effects on people. Governments of developing countries can no longer fulfil all social and regulatory services by themselves, especially in rural areas. Many economies are overwhelmed by the cost of servicing their foreign debt, and governments are under stringent requirement from international financial institutions to reduce spending.

In their quest for greater cost-effectiveness in all their operations, governments must have the active support of, and a greater contribution from, the people. Governments are thus obliged to seek new and perhaps unfamiliar partners, ranging from local leaders to people in a variety of non-governmental organisations. These people are accordingly obliged to shoulder new and perhaps unfamiliar responsibilities.

The Importance of Communication Skills [Top 10 Studies]

Furthermore, as we near the end of the century, a number of specific issues have come clearly into focus as being central to socio-economic progress, equity, social stability, to the future of humanity- and perhaps even to its survival. The environment and its relation to sustainable agricultural development and food production present an enormous challenge. A prime consideration is the proper use and conservation of natural resources. These resources are often degraded at the hands of impoverished rural people who have no immediate alternative for meeting their needs for land on which to grow food, and for fuelwood.

Their abuse of forest areas, with the negative consequences of soil erosion and dwindling water resources, will only be halted through new schemes of employment and income generation and through applying conservation techniques. Such solutions, however, will have to be made acceptable to local people, many of whom will need considerable encouragement and training in new skills. The provisions of Agenda 21, which emerged from the UN Conference on the Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro , will only become a reality through large-scale changes in attitudes and behaviour in societies worldwide.

Population growth is exerting pressure on natural resources, on food production and on the ability of governments to provide basic services and employment opportunities. Population growth depends on choices made by individuals. Helping people to make more informed choices by raising their awareness of the implications of family size and unwanted pregnancy, and of methods of contraception, requires much more than simply sending out messages. Instead it requires learning, from people and their leaders, how to make such issues socially acceptable and worthy of urgent action.

Insight into people's underlying attitudes are needed before they can be helped to change their views. Rural poverty continues to increase in many countries, accelerating urban migration and creating intolerable economic and social problems. The solution, of course, lies in the development of rural areas. Most rural communities are characterised by reliance on traditional knowledge and production systems, based strictly on what has worked for survival in the past. This has led to a view that rural communities are resistant to change, even though their traditional wisdom has been hard-won and its reasoning is sound.

Planners need to take this into account, as the first step of any planning exercise.

For this, and for all rural development activities, communication between local communities and national planners and policy-makers is of vital importance but, unfortunately, in rural areas it is at its weakest. Malnutrition is both a cause and a consequence of underdevelopment. Recent decades have seen consistent reductions in the daily per caput supply of calories in many countries.

The International Conference on Nutrition held in December drew attention to the fact that more than million people in the world suffer from chronic malnutrition and that, each year, some 13 million children below the age of five die from infectious diseases that can be directly or indirectly attributed to hunger or malnutrition. Nutritional well-being is not just a question of food availability and economics among families, however. It also depends on sufficient knowledge and acceptance of appropriate diets. At the planner's level, incorporating nutritional concerns into development initiatives for agriculture, food security, forestry, land use, exports and so forth requires an increased awareness of nutritional priorities since these are not spontaneously identified in such disciplines.

Women in development is another priority issue. In many countries, women shoulder most of the work in rural areas. Given the opportunity, women have shown themselves again and again to be highly responsive and responsible when helped to mobilise themselves, build upon available resources and produce sustainable results.

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