Communicate vs Connect

I bounce around between reading books for learning and books for pleasure. Sometimes I have 2-3 books going at the same time. A speaker and teacher that I’ve been following for a few years is John C. Maxwell. I just finished a fiction book, so now turning to learn something.

Today I pulled one of Mr. Maxwell’s books off my shelf and the pages opened to the marker where I had left off. The chapter was on “Connecting One-On-One”.¬†Within stepfamilies this concept is often either ignored or very difficult to accomplish successfully. I myself have experienced not only poor communication, but really poor connections because of my emotions, ignorance, and/or pride with both my husband and stepdaughter in our early years together.¬†Connection is usually elusive because it’s hard for us to shut off our response mechanism and faulty reactions.

talk
We all are capable of communication, but we all need to work on connecting with each other. Stepfamilies have a lot of people to communicate with if there are children involved: Spouse, children, bio parent, teachers, coaches, doctors, all extended family members, and the list goes on. It can be overwhelming if we do not develop healthy connection habits. Here are some of Mr. Maxwell’s points to practice:

  • Have interest in the person.
  • Place value on that person.
  • Put his or her interests ahead of your own.
  • Express gratitude to and for that person.

The list addresses anyone we are communicating with, no matter the relationship. A communication tool I’ve learned to use years ago when beginning a conversation is to begin sentences with “I” and to begin with something positive about…or be grateful for….the person or the relationship.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” NOT!!!

Peace and God’s Blessings!

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