Now that it’s February, for some of us love is in the air. As I pondered this topic it seemed ideal for communication.

Answer these 4 questions:

1. L = Do you truly listen to the communication of others?
2. O = Do you observe the person with whom you’re communicating?
3. V = Do you value those with whom you’re communicating?
4. E = Do you engage others when communicating with them?

*In order to truly listen it’s best to fully attend to someone’s message and where appropriate paraphrase, reflect, clarify or convey interest non-verbally. These are all aspects of active listening.

*In order to observe others we must make eye-connection. This differs from eye-contact because eye-connection is a slightly longer gaze vs. more of a fleeting style. We often learn so much when we fully take in another person rather than strictly attending to their words.

*In order to value the person we’re speaking to, we must be fully present. This means not multi-tasking and running the risk of being distracted. When we pay full attention to someone, the message we’re sending is that we want to be here with them and not elsewhere.

*In order to engage others we have several ways to accomplish this. Verbally, we can ask open-ended questions or simply ask the person for more information. This encourages them to keep sharing their message with us. Non-verbally, we can be engaging by leaning toward someone, smiling, nodding, vocalizing or even chuckling if applicable.

So this month let’s all try to L.O.V.E. communication by implementing these behaviors. Best of all, when we do this we may be pleasantly surprised when our communication partners reciprocate!