A phrase can have many different meanings depending on context. The question of “Can we talk?” could be a sign of being proactive, passive-aggressive, confused, frustrated, generous, bored, inquisitive. The intensity of group conversation may be different from that of one-on-one talks. Some people love and some loathe the idea of discussion. There are those who view dialogue as useless while others claim it is the key to all of life’s interactions.

Among other things, communication is a tool. And tools, when used properly, are not only helpful but can be the difference between possible and impossible. In this way, effective communication makes the seemingly impossible possible. There are virtually an infinite number of scenarios in which this applies; around the world, inside the home, and everything in between. In essence, the skill of effective communication could potentially be the most important tool that could ever be used.

Conversely though, these same tools can be arbitrary or even dangerous when used improperly or with conflicting interest. The possible may seem impossible, understandings become misunderstandings, allies become enemies. In addition, those who weaponize the tool may be doing so unknowingly. There is no reward without risk.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce risk when chasing the benefits of effective communication: ways like patience, trust, optimism, selflessness, compassion, just to name a few. Although it is understandably easier said then done, the acknowledgment and awareness of what variables are within our control may guide us into a brighter future for ourselves and those we care about.

So Can We Talk??

Husband. Father. Other stuff.

Husband. Father. Other stuff.