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What are Women Lacking in the Area of Communication, by Kimberly Dinsdale

May 1st, 2009 | By | Category: Coaching Women

Having a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Speech Communications, and womentalkinghaving been a student of interpersonal communications before college and ever since, the subject of how women communicate is dear to my heart.  When I consider the question, “what I find most lacking in the area of communication with women,” the answer comes quickly, “the lack of authentic, vulnerable, interpersonal communication that makes a difference in people’s lives.”  I long to have conversations that fit that description and find in general most people are not eager to participate in relationships of that level.  I believe this is true for society as a whole, but specifically for Christians. 

My experience has been that women would rather keep quiet about important, personal, sensitive topics and focus conversation around surface issues or “safe” issues.  Could it be this lack of authenticity leads to lack of accountability?  Which  may then lead to women becoming lost and isolated, craving relationships they have no idea how to create or ask for.  I continue to hear women say they want to connect on a deeper, more personal level, yet they lack the skills and haven’t had those types of relationships modeled for them. 

What has been your experience?  How regularly do you communicate with authenticity and vulnerability?  At what point in your friendships/relationships do you allow yourself to converse about deeper issues than the weather?  How can we as coaches, assist women in developing skills to more effectively connect at meaningful levels?  If you don’t see this as an issue, who role modeled authentic communication in your life and how do you continue to role model that for other women?  As we look to scripture, how many references and in what context do we see Jesus talking about the weather?

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2 Responses to “What are Women Lacking in the Area of Communication, by Kimberly Dinsdale”

  1. T. Wright says:

    Thank you for bringing up the topic. In the book of James we are warned about isolation and specifically told to call each other out on our stuff… basically. For our own good. I have found even when speaking the truth in love that many times the truth still makes people feel uncomfortable enough to turn from me sometimes. And I am speaking of other Christians. Granted that is less than before because the Holy Spirit is speaking a lot more often through me these days but still… Where there is darkness it does not want light. Love is the key. The tone of voice, timing, approach. All of it matters but most of all love. Just like Paul says in 1 Cor. 12 when speaking about spiritual gifts. We egotistical humans naturally want to have the “big” gifts, but God says the best way to bless someone is to love them. The other person needs to know we genuinely care about what is going on with them. For example, I was in the middle of working with someone after a class I take the other night when not one but two different women came up and interrupted. I was short on time and had to let them know I would talk with them later. I could tell they felt the brush off. Now two days later, I am at the very outskirts of timing to call them both to let them know I genuinely care about them and what is going on in their lives. If I don’t they shut down again, not only to me but to other women as well. It is hard for us gals to open up to each other. We need to be more sensitive and make that extra effort with each others hearts. Oh, practice what we preach! Myself included by the above example:)

  2. Christine Kimmel says:

    As I read your post, I could so relate to wanting to enter into deeper conversations with women, only to observe their posture change. They became fidgety and distracted. Why is it that we fear and run from what it is we say we truly long for? Part of the answer may lie in lack of trust. Maybe women have entered into deeper conversations with others before, only to have their opinions attacked, or belittled. Maybe they assumed they were sharing in confidence, and later discovered that what they shared had been discussed with others.

    We must approach relationships with humility, gentleness, and confidentiality. And as T. Wright said in the previous comment, focusing on loving the other person unconditionally. We have to accept them where they are and gently build that trusting relationship. I do think women will be more inclined to upen up when they feel it is safe to do so.

    In a recent conversation with a friend on this very topic, we came up with 6 ideas to nurture this kind of communication. When building a trusting relationship, start with small steps and give the relationship time to develop. Be patient with them and watch them unfold like a beautiful flower.

    1. Be interested in her and ask questions that do not get too personal, yet let her know you care about her. Include little bits about yourself as it relates to the conversation. Be curious, but not nosy. Ask her for more details as she shares things to show you are interested. Remember what she shares so you can build on it at a later date.

    2. Discover what her interests are and look for affinities – things you have in common that you can build a relationship upon. Don’t focus on your differences or her faults. Maybe in time, the Lord will use you to help her grow.

    3. Watch her body language as you engage in conversation. As you bring up more personal, deeper topics, notice when she begins to shut down. Maybe lighten the conversation until she is more open.

    4. Of course, let the Holy Spirit lead, remembering that He is a gentleman and never forces His agenda, but is patient, allowing us to choose what we want for our lives.

    5. Model vulnerability for them to see. If you are authentic and trustworthy, they will be drawn to you.

    6. Let go of expectations. Remember they may not want what you want and that is ok. Give them the freedom to open up and share, or continue to be reserved. Pray for them and leave the results to God. We are simply planting and watering, He brings about the harvest.

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