Unlocking the Power of Effective Communications Month: Building Bridges, Not Barriers

Veronica Powell, PhD
5 min read

Communication is an integral part of our existence, shaping the way we connect with others and express ourselves.

June is celebrated as #EffectiveCommunicationsMonth, a time dedicated to enhancing our #communicationskills, fostering stronger connections, and achieving greater understanding in both our personal and professional lives.

We can use this time to examine how selfish behaviors often infiltrate our communication interactions, hindering our ability to truly connect and be understood. 

In this article, we will explore how selfish behaviors often hinder our ability to be seen, heard, and understood in the communication exchange. Furthermore, we will delve into strategies that can help us become more effective communicators, such as practicing conscious listening and leveraging tools like Kendall's #LifeLanguages™ Communication Character Assessment.

Finally, we will discuss how Stephen Covey's timeless quote, "Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood," can be applied in our daily interactions.

Selfish Behaviors and the Need to Compete

In our quest to be seen, heard, and understood, it is not uncommon
for selfish behaviors to manifest in our communication. We may find ourselves competing for attention, talking over others, or focusing solely on getting our own points across. 

This self-centered approach can create barriers to effective communication. When we focus solely on our own needs and agenda, we fail to truly listen and genuinely understand others.

Consequently, conversations become a battleground of #egos, leading to #misunderstandings, #conflicts, and strained relationships.

However, to truly excel in effective communication, we must transcend this self-centered approach and embrace a #mindset of #collaboration, genuine #connection, and #empathy.

Becoming an Effective Communicator

To break free from the need to compete in conversations and foster more effective communication, we can embrace the concept of #consciouslistening. Conscious listening involves being fully present and attentive to the person speaking, setting aside our own agendas, biases, and judgments.

By practicing conscious listening, we create an environment where individuals feel genuinely heard, valued, and understood.

Empathy is another key element of effective communication. Putting ourselves in the shoes of others helps us appreciate their experiences, emotions, and motivations. It allows us to respond with compassion, consideration, and sensitivity, fostering an inclusive environment where all voices are valued.

Additionally, creating an atmosphere of open and inclusive conversations is essential. Encouraging diverse viewpoints, promoting active participation, and making space for everyone to contribute fosters a sense of belonging and creates opportunities for innovative #thinking and #problemsolving.

Kendall's Life Languages™ Communication Character Assessment

One powerful tool for enhancing our communication skills is
Kendall's Life Languages™ Communication Character Assessment.

This assessment helps us understand our own unique communication styles and provides insight into the languages spoken by others. It classifies communication styles into three categories: #Action, #Feeling, and #Thinking.                                                                                   
The Action Category encompasses the languages of #Mover and #Doer. Movers are action-oriented, driven individuals, while Doers are task-focused and efficient.

The Feeling Category includes the languages of #Influencer and #Responder. Influencers thrive on inspiring others, while Responders are empathetic listeners.

The Thinking Category comprises the languages of #Shaper, #Producer, and #Contemplator. Shapers are logical and strategic, Producers excel at implementing plans, and Contemplators are reflective thinkers.

By recognizing our communication strengths and weaknesses, we can bridge the gap between our own communication languages and that of others. This understanding fosters empathy, appreciation, and effective collaboration, enabling us to build stronger connections and resolve conflicts more harmoniously.

Building Character in Communication

Effective communication is not just about conveying information; it is also about building character. #Honesty, #integrity, and #transparency lay the foundation for meaningful interactions.

When we communicate with #authenticity and #sincerity, we establish #trust and credibility. Hence allowing others to feel safe and more open to communicate in return.

Respectful and mindful communication is essential for fostering healthy relationships. Treating others with #kindness, #courtesy, and empathy cultivates an environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

By choosing our words carefully, avoiding #blame or #judgment, and focusing on the issue rather than the person, we create space for constructive dialogue and #collaboration.Lastly, building trust and #rapport is an ongoing process in effective communication.

Consistency, reliability, and follow-through on commitments contribute to the development of trust. When others perceive us as reliable communicators, they are more likely to engage openly, share information, and collaborate effectively.

Applying Stephen Covey's Wisdom

Stephen Covey's quote, "Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood," encapsulates a powerful principle that can transform our communication exchanges.

By prioritizing understanding over being understood, we transcend the need to compete and shift our focus to truly hearing and comprehending others' perspectives.

When we actively seek to understand, we engage in empathetic listening, suspending judgment and preconceived notions. This approach creates a safe space for others to express themselves freely, fostering trust, and facilitating open dialogue.

As a result, we gain a deeper understanding of diverse viewpoints, facilitating collaboration, and more effective problem-solving.

By consciously listening, asking clarifying questions, and demonstrating empathy, we show others that we value their input and respect their viewpoints. This approach not only strengthens relationships, but it also opens the door for others to reciprocate and truly listen to us.


In conclusion, June's Effective Communications Month isn't just a time to recognize the importance of quality interaction, but it's a call to action for each of us to continually strive for better communication practices in our day-to-day lives.

We can break down barriers and foster healthier connections by transcending self-centered tendencies, learning to genuinely listen, and incorporating empathy into our responses.

Utilizing tools like Kendall's Life Languages™ Communication Character Assessment can offer valuable insights into our communication strengths and weaknesses, enabling us to build stronger, more effective relationships. Moreover, the timeless wisdom of Stephen Covey, "Seek First to Understand, then to Be Understood," is an essential mantra to live by if we aim to improve our communication skills.

Now it's your turn to embark on a transformative journey. If you're ready to become a more effective communicator, we invite you to take the first step by taking Kendall's Life Languages Free Mini Profile. Get a glimpse of your primary language and begin bridging the gap between understanding and being understood. Take the free mini-profile now at https://tinyurl.com/3kbvfv3b.

Let's recognize that communication is the lifeblood of our relationships, influencing the quality of our personal and professional lives. Join the movement to build bridges,

not barriers, one conversation at a time.

References & Resources

Bolton, R. (2009). People Skills. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Covey, S. R. (2020). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Ellison, S. S. (2016). Taking the War Out of Words. Voices of Integrity.

Kendall, F. & Kendall, A. (2019). Communication IQ: A Proven Way to Influence, Lead, and Motivate People. Life Languages International. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House.

Kendall Life Languages™ Communication Character Assessment: [Website] https://tinyurl.com/3kbvfv3b.

NationalToday.com. (2023). Effective Communications Month-June 2023. Retrieved from https://nationaltoday.com/effective-communications-month/.

Patterson, K., Grenny, J., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2021). Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Rosenberg, M. B. (2015). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Encinitas, CA: Puddledancer Press.

Skills You Need. (2022). Communication. Retrieved from https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/communication-skills.html.

Stone, D., Patton, B., & Heen, S. (2010). Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. New York, NY: Penguin Books.