Dr. Charles Lee Johnson is the pastor of Corona Community Church. He is also CEO of the National Family Life and Education Center which provides local, national and international consultation and training services. Dr. Johnson is unequivocally committed to positive development of young people, families and communities across the world. We are honored to have him as a panelist for “Are You Hearing Me? Am I Hearing You?”
Nearly 90% of the issues that couples bring to me as a counselor and Pastor are rooted in unhealthy communication habits. While most couples come to counseling seeking an immediate remedy for their presenting issue, I always try to get couples to address the larger communication issues that exist within their relationship; which are, quite often, driving the very behavior within their significant other that they abhor. This requires spending significant time understanding the childhood experiences of their partner, which are always the primary influence on our communication styles. Couples who are patient and courageous enough to take this journey, experience an intimacy that allows them to overcome nearly any adversity.
Read the interviews with our other panelists here and join us March 5 at Emmanuel HM Turner Church in Los Angeles for Are You Hearing Me? Am I Hearing You? See all the details, RSVP, and invite your friends and family here.
- Safe – Meaning that each party is able and willing to hear and say what is truly on their heart and mind. Each party must be able to share without fear and hear without judgement. Both parties must feel safe in the idea that they can share freely without the other getting offended, jumping to judgment or walking away.
- Open – Often we say we want a spouse or partner who will share everything and be completely honest (The Best Friend Syndrome) When, if we are honest with ourselves, most of us really want our partner’s communication to fit perfectly inside of our comfort zone and frame of who we believe they are or want them to be. In reality both parties would have to practice a higher level of maturity and responsibility towards one another to create an open line of communication. If we want our partners to communicate the same way they do with friends we have to create that same environment for one another.
- Honest – Honesty will never exist fruitfully without the presence of openness and safety. But if we can be honest with one another it opens up a whole new level of understanding. Now honesty does not start with being honest with the other person. It actually begins with us being honest with ourselves,i.e., What are my intentions? What am I really feeling? Am I truly asking and saying what is real? Is this as important as I’m making it?)
- Respectful – No matter what has to be said or heard each person deserves respect and when we uphold our respect each other we can hear and speak more clearly. When we relinquish our respect we are no longer operating in a space of safe communication.
- Be willing to have the tough conversations – Sometimes our communication is poor because we are not willing to talk about the things that make us uncomfortable or hear things that do not fit our mold, frame and expectation. Because we are not willing to have the tough conversations, we only experience our partners on a very surface level; not just our romantic partners but anyone we find ourselves in relationship with.
As we gear up for our panel discussion on March 5, we will be featuring interviews with our four panelists.
Kiana Shaw is a master life coach and two-time best-selling author. She is the founder and CEO of LeadHERship Academy, a virtual community for parents to connect and share tips to help them communicate with their teens. Today, she talks with us about communication between men and women.
How can men and women communicate better in dating and married relationships? By opening their mouths and being honest and open upfront. My boyfriend said to me one day, “no one says, hi, my name is… and I am crazy as hell”. So I immediately said, “Hi, my name is Kiana and I am crazy as hell and I want you to love me anyway!”. Holding in our communication because we are afraid of being viewed as insecure is detrimental to our relationships. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, because people love authentic people and no one likes a person who changes up after we have let them into our lives.
How can women and men communicate better in work place/business interactions? Women need to be less emotional in work and business. Men are problem solvers so they think logically and that can come off hard and rude, so they need to be aware of this and adjust.
What hinders positive communication? Lies. Fear. Anger
Do you think people say what they really mean most of the time or do they say what they believe the other wants to hear? I think it depends on who they are speaking with. Most of us don’t feel free to be open or ourselves with most people. We save it for the people we are closest to who will hold our truths in confidence. When we are in a relationship, we have to be willing to allow the other person to share with us without judgment.
Do you think males hear differently than females? How so? Of course! Men hear mentally. Women hear emotionally. It is how we are wired.
When a man tells his wife/girlfriend, “I’m gonna hang out with the guys tonight.” What do you hear? What do you think most women hear? That depends on their history and how secure she is within that relationship. Let me be clear, not being secure in your relationship is not a direct correlation to being an insecure woman. Now that that is straight, let me say this: If a man has lied to his woman, cheated on her or given her a reason to doubt him, “I’m gonna hang out with the guys tonight” is translated into, “I may or may not be out doing something you would leave me for if you knew about it.” If she has never had a reason to doubt him, she hears, “I’m gonna hang out with the guys tonight.”
What do you want participants to take away from your presentation? I want them to take away ways to communicate and have healthy and productive relationships.
What would you consider to be the long-term effects of better communication between couples? Joyful marriages.
What about between co-workers and business associates? Productive partnerships.
How will this change impact families and community? They will be examples to the people watching and following them.
Join Kiana for our Panel Discussion: Are You Hearing Me? Am I Hearing You? On Saturday, March 5 at Emmanuel HM Turner AME Church in Los Angeles. See all the details, RSVP, and invite your friends here.