Four Great Lessons For Improving Communication Skills

Posted By on March 10th

Shmuley Boteach’s book, 10 Conversations You Need to Have With Your Children, is primarily focused on parents teaching their children skills to find their own way in the world. Boteach’s book also has four great lessons for improving communication skills with everyone you live with or work with. These are Boteach’s four lessons:

1. You can control your emotions by controlling your actions. When you force yourself to behave in a certain way, even if you don’t feel it, the action creates the emotion. As an example, if you force yourself to treat someone you don’t like with love and respect, you will slowly begin to appreciate and care for them. It is also true that if you ignore and rarely show appreciation for someone, you will continue to progressively dislike them. Therefore, you are choosing your emotions by choosing your actions. You have the ability to change your choices.

2. The foundation of every relationship and interaction you have is the “desire to know”. He counsels his children that “curiosity is the soul of every relationship.” Much of Boteach’s advice is based on the premise that you have to find ways to be stimulated every day, and your relationships and interactions are a source of stimulation. Make those around you aware that you respect them, that you are curious about them, and that they are contributing to making your day unique.

3. The world will be a kinder, gentler place if we each honor and exhibit what Boteach identifies as the “feminine qualities” we all have within ourselves, such as peacefulness, tenderness, nurturing, and relationship-building. Boteach says, “Men lived by the sword and became known for their violent exploits. Little by little, however, as civilization progressed, allowing spirituality to spread, a more feminine world began to emerge. Suddenly people began to question the old notions. Maybe might didn’t make right after all, they said.” He believes that civilization continued along that path for hundreds of years, and now seems to be going back to “raw masculinity and savagery”. Some of you may look at nurturing your own peaceful and nurturing tendencies as being weak. It’s not weak, however, to be patient and to not immediately react with anger and violence. In fact, it takes great strength to dig deeper and reflect in order to explore, and perhaps understand, a perspective different from your own.

4. Show the people around you that you know you make mistakes and that you are seeking forgiveness. Furthermore, you should be willing to forgive those people who are seeking forgiveness from you. Becoming angry is a part of your relationships, and you need to communicate when you are angry, which provides the person an opportunity to apologize and to correct the action. Boteach teaches you should be willing to forgive, not just to make the other person feel better and to maintain the relationship. He believes the primary reason for forgiveness is for yourself, so that you don’t let the feelings poison you over time. Boteach says, “An unforgiving heart is a heavy heart. When you don’t forgive someone, you become bitter, and that feeling festers, affecting you more than it affects them. When you forgive, the one you are truly freeing is yourself.”

About the author

Keith Grossman helps individuals and businesses negotiate and manage conflict more comfortably. Keith is a Collaborative Attorney, a Family and Circuit Civil mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Florida, an Arbitrator qualified by the Florida Supreme Court, and an educator. Keith frequently lectures and facilitates training programs, works with individuals one-on-one, and writes articles on conflict management and negotiation topics. His e-workbooks, “What Is A Peace Chest?” and “How Do You Build A Peace Chest?“ are now available on Kindle.


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