Quite often, when we communicate or deal with other people, we do not really focus on the real needs of the other person. Instead, we tend to focus only on our own interests and intentions.

How many times you have talked to your partner, friends, family members etc trying to understand their feelings and needs, and respond to them accordingly?

Mindful communication is the ability to be fully present and attentive in conversations. Most importantly being able to manage your internal reactions to other people if a conversation is not going the way you would like it to.

When answering a question, sending a text message or email, replying to a phone call, ask yourself this question before expressing your thoughts and emotions: ‘Is this necessary?’.

Also communicating mindfully means remembering that everything is perception and being open to the possibility that there are alternative perspectives and explanations for any situation. Sometimes what the other person is saying to you does not necessarily mean what you are perceiving.

Being mindful when communicating means having the ability to manage tension rather than needing to fill the silence, rush people to answers, or dominate discussions.

This week be aware of your communication – are you messaging work while talking to someone? Can you listen without judgments? Are you fully present in the conversation or thinking about your ‘to do list’? Can you allow space for silence for people to process their thoughts and feelings?

By pausing to notice the way we respond to others, we can open ourselves up to more honest communication.

‘Speak only when you feel that your words are better than your silence.’ – Buddhist Teaching