These statistics reveal that uninhibited, healthy communication is actually very difficult and communication coach, Yasodhara Romero Fernandes, believes she knows why.
'From the time we are very young, we become attuned to the judgement of others and we begin to calculate our actions and words to try and avoid that judgement. When we are in this space of monitoring our own behaviour, we are not allowing unfiltered, authentic communication", she explains.
Yasodhara is a professional singer, communication expert and Right Voice for You facilitator. For years, even as she completed a masters degree in Performing Arts and toured the world as a professional performer, she struggled with a disruptive and unconscious resistance to using her voice fully.
'I had all the right training; I used all the right techniques. Yet, behind the scenes something wasn't right. My voice would break down after 90 minutes; I was developing nodules on my vocal chords and my voice contained a tremble that I just couldn't fix. I was a comfortable and skilful performer – I knew I had greater potential – but something deep inside of me was holding me back."
After years of technique training, analysis and adjustments, Yasodhara stumbled upon the key to her physical challenges. 'I discovered a personal development program called Access Consciousness, and I discovered how to be fully, completely me."
The effect on her on-stage performance was almost immediate. 'When I allowed myself to be all of me, my singing became more pure. Not caring what other people think of me allows me to express to myself fully", she exclaims.
For people struggling to maintain healthy communication lines, Yasodhara recommends the following questions:
Am I just trying to get my point across? Ask yourself this question when you feel your point is not being heard. Are you speaking at someone or with them? If you want to be heard, you must take into account what the listener is ready to hear.
What can this person hear? Ask this question to yourself and the change in your own communication style may surprise you. Making these adjustments doesn't make any part of you -wrong', but allows you to hold back parts of you that others aren't able or willing to hear.
Am I avoiding judgement? This question is the key to important self-reflection. How many barriers and walls have you put up in order to avoid judgement? Are you manipulating your communication in order to avoid or limit judgement on who you are authentically?
'It's all about judgement", Yasodhara remarks. 'And when it comes to effective communication: what if it's not only about what you say? What if it's about what you be?"
Yasodhara Romero Fernandes is a professional performer, vocal coach, performance and communications expert and certified Right Voice for You facilitator. She completed her Master of Performing Arts and Composition at ARTEZ in Netherlands and has spent a decade touring as a professional performer throughout Europe, Asia and the USA. As a Right Voice for You certified facilitator, Yasodhara conducts classes and private consultations around the world, helping people open up to the power of authentic communication and authentic living. https://www.houseofpossibilities.net/
Question: What is inauthentic or inhibited communication?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: Where you hide you behind a role or you keep information to yourself that might not be relevant in regards to the topic of your conversation, but is very relevant in regards to the flow of the conversation.
Authentic communication starts with being authentic.
What is being authentic?
Recognising who you are and what you desire, what your strong points are and your flaws, and not making those greater or more relevant than you are.
Are you a leader? Stop pretending you are not.
Are you angry? Stop pushing it away.
When you push things away or pretend to be something different than you are, it is hard to communicate authentically. People will hear your words, but will intuitively pick up your inauthenticity. This will distract them, and will keep them more busy than the message you have for them.
Question: Why do so many of us fail to communicate effectively?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: Effective communication occurs when you are willing to be vulnerable.
What is vulnerability? Having no walls or barriers to separate you from others.
Most people in communication just try to get their point across, without looking at the person that is in front of them.
If you are not willing to look at what goes on in someone else's world, than you can not have effective communication.
Ask the people you communicate with questions, find out what they require in order to function at their best. And find out what you can be for them, that will make them communicate with ease with you.
Question: Can you talk us through how our lack of effective communication skills often leads to divorce?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: Most people are looking to be received and heard. A lack of effective communication often occurs when 1 or both parties stop listening and stop receiving.
Ever noticed after a fight that all parties engaged in the fight have their walls up?
Most people have never learned to bring their walls down and be vulnerable - this is, I believe, number one of marriage killers, leading to divorce.
When the walls are so high there is no space for vulnerability, which leads to disconnection.
Lowering the walls is something you can train, by asking or pushing them down.
Question: How can we practice effective communication to support personal and workplace relationships?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: Start with being present with the people you are communicating with and ask yourself before you talk:
what can this person hear?
where does this person function from?
Is now the time for this talk, or is something else required first?
What does this person require me to be today?
You will find yourself having a totally different conversation, where you really start creating connections that will support everything and everyone involved.
Question: Do you have examples of how ineffective communication affects workplace functionality?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: In a workplace everything is based on communication, verbal and non-verbal.
The moment communication is ineffective, creation processes start falling apart – this usually creates a place where people start being frustrated. They might feel misunderstood, not heard, not received, as if what they are creating doesn't matter.
Question: How can an employee approach an employer or management if they are dissatisfied with the workplace communication?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: When you are dissatisfied, frustration is often nearby as well. This is usually not such a fun place to start talking from.
Are you really dissatisfied? Or are you actually aware that there is a different possibility that maybe nobody has seen yet?
Do you get the difference between the two?
How to approach a management team or employer I would say depends mostly on the person you have to talk to.
Ask questions before you get to action and know that most people, even the ones on the top, like being praised and like to be acknowledged.
If you really want to get your point across ask before you talk:
What can this person hear?
What is the best way and moment to contact the person? Written, spoken, now, later?
What else is possible here that i have not considered?
Question: Who is the better sex at communicating?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: I don't believe there is a better sex in regards to communication.
There is a difference in communicating and when you are willing to see where the person you communicate with functions from, you will start to create more efficient communication.
Did you ever notice that some woman communicate as a man and some man communicate as a woman.
When people communicate as a man you want to:
Be direct, give the information that is required.
When people communicate as a woman you want to:
Discuss things, ask them about them before getting to business.
By listening to the person you're communicating with you will get if he or she is communicating as a man or a woman.
Question: How can we beat fears of public speaking?
Yasodhara Romero Fernades: There are different things you can look at when dealing with fears of public speaking.
Did you know that fear and excitement are actually the same energy? It's just a different side of the coin.
So ask yourself is this fear or excitement?
What if this was actually excitement?
As a public speaker trainer, I often see people go into the space of fear once they get on, or near, a stage. The thing with fear is that it often is a one-way street. It usually shuts down further possibilities to conduct your audience to go where you want to go, and it actually (most of the time) leaves you totally out the equation. People will have no idea if they did great, what they said, what got created in the room - they will only remember how terrifying it was.
When you start asking a question, you actually allow a different possibility to show up. That's why whenever you hear yourself say or think -I'm scared', asking yourself 'Is this fear or excitement/" might be a game changer.
Did you ever wonder who the fear belonged too?
Do you know how many people are actually scared of public speaking? I had many people in classes and private sessions that realised that as a kid they loved to be in front of others and on stage until something happened.
They were offended, judged, laughed at, forgot their lyrics and from that moment on they lost the excitement and twisted all of that into fear.
By asking the question: who does this actually belong to, you will start receiving an awareness of what is really true for you.
Interview by Brooke Hunter