There are five levels of communication that we move through when we interact with each other:
- Facts - At this level, you discover a little more, but not much. "How are you? Fine, but I'm really hungry."
- Feelings - Here we begin to know more about the person. "How are you? Fine, but I'm really hungry. I'd like to go out to eat, but something I found out is troubling me."
Needs/Values - At this point the person reveals, verbally and non-verbally, some of their deeper thoughts, needs. The person may go on to reveal that he just received a bad report at the doctor, and he's scared. Or that a friend has passed away, and he is sad. Or that his business partner has betrayed him, and he's mad. Now the spouse needs to be able to communicate his vulnerability and what he needs ... a hug, help, to go to the pastor, etc.
Here are some steps to Good Communication:
- Recognize differences and build on each other's strengths.
- Find time to talk – listen and don’t attack. Anger shuts communication down.
- Admit when you are wrong and apologize.
- Encourage and praise one another.
- Work at growing spiritually – individually and together.