3 Ways to Communicate Mindfully


  • “If your umbrella intention is to have ambition, great relationships, and to learn from others, that frames every method, every tactic, and every principle underneath.”
  • Are you communicating mindfully with those around you? In this episode, learn 3 tips to improve your communication and enhance your relationships!
  • “Listening skills without the primary intention of learning is just a tactic.”
  • If you’re ready to bolster your communication skills, it’s time to set the intention to build upon these 3 approaches in your relationships!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

As I’ve learned in my life, and many of you have too, everything’s about intention. Like, what is the intention of my communication with this person? And I believe there are three intentions we have to set. Okay, so this is where my idea is. You have to set intentions for learning, honoring and improving. This is all one point, so please write this down.

1. Learning

Set an intention for learning, honoring and improving. This is my modus operandi when I sit down with somebody. My whole thing in sitting down with people, and this is not just my coaching career, this is life. If we go to breakfast together, go to lunch together, or hang out, my whole mode is, “I want to learn about this person.” Notice, I don’t say, “I want to show I’m awesome.” No, I want to learn about this person. Meaning, has learning been your primary mode of operation with your spouse recently? Has learning been your primary mode of operation with that team member? Has learning been your primary mode of operation in communicating to groups?

Or when you’re talking with your partner or the person who you love, is it always just about telling them what you need, what the to-do list is, what the agenda is? And you live in communication land—that is what I call agenda-based—not learning-based. Some people only talk at their kids. We’re doing this, this, this, and this and this, but they never learn from their kids. So it’s a different relationship, right?

Agenda-based communication, which is usually a to-do list—what are we doing, where we’re going—versus the first primary thing, which is learning. And I think this is so important.

I always tell people, listening skills without the very primary intention of learning is just a tactic.

Does that make sense? I know in junior varsity levels of conversation about communication, you’re told to be a great listener. Well, what does that mean? Well, the intention is to learn. Listening is one of the vehicles for that. So set the intention to learn more. Anybody? Anybody? Can I get an amen on a Sunday? We got to learn from each other again and be open to learning from each other, instead of going at each other with our political agenda.

We stopped learning from each other as a culture and that’s how you get tribalism and division at the epic levels we face worldwide now.

Because the intention to learn from another went out the window and the intention to persuade or argue at, or accuse other people, went up. So let’s, remember, set the intention for learning. Think about this.

If your umbrella intention is to have ambition, “I want great relationships and I want to learn from others,” that frames every method, every tactic, and every principle underneath.

2. Honoring

Here’s another one. I love this one. Very few people talk about this, so I think it’s important.

In a relationship, in your communication, your communication style should be honoring of other people.

What does that mean? Honoring means you hear what they say, you reflect it back, you honor that. “That’s a great idea, thank you for sharing, I appreciate you, I really value that you shared that, I respect that you’re participating right now, I’m thankful that we’re having this conversation.” Also saying very simple things, like, “I appreciate you did this, good job at that.” Honoring the other person so they feel heard, valued, respected and appreciated. Honoring the other person, so they feel heard, valued, respected, and appreciated. That’s like everything, right?

How good have you been at honoring your partner, your spouse, persons that you care about? If your parents are around, have been speaking to them, and honoring their difficulties this year? The people who you love in your life, your family. Have you been honoring their unique and difficult journey through what is a crazy and wild year? I mean, think about your last 10 major conversations. Were you honoring of the other person?

Now my bet is, in our community here, you do. But this is a very key principle.

In your communication patterns with other people, is learning there as your intention? Is honoring the other there as an intention?

Even when I go into a place where I know I’m going to have a conflict with someone, my whole mindset shifts. Make sure they feel honored and respected in this process. Make sure they feel that, honor them.

Honor them for showing up, honor them for trying, honor them for a good job when they do a good job, honor them for sharing their voice, honor them for participating, honor them for giving you the time of day. If we can remember the value of each relationship, everything can change.

3. Improving

All right. Our intention is for learning, honoring, and the last thing is improving.

You want the most advanced communication skill in the history of the world? Try to improve another person’s day. Listen to what they’re saying and try to ask questions or give advice when it’s sought, or share an idea to help them improve their situation, their day, their feeling, their mindset.

My mode is whoever is here, I am here to be of service. Whoever’s in front of me, I’m going to try to really learn about them, to honor them as a person, and to help them reach whatever goals that they’re after. You’ve heard me say that in my mission statement forever. It’s like, to help people achieve their goals faster. That’s just part of the conversation with me. And I think that’s given me great skills with other people because it’s taught me how to listen for what they want.

I’m belaboring this point, but I think this is so important. You’ve got to set that intention. “I’m going to learn here, I’m going to honor this person, I’m going to help this person improve. I’m going to learn here, honor this person, help them improve.” That is, that little triangle of goodness is running in my brain all the time, and that helps me.

I don’t always get it right. I’m not a perfect communicator. But I think I get paid at the level I do, as a coach, I think I have the depth of relationship with my family and my friends the way that I do because these things are my value ethic. I don’t always get it right. Plenty of times, just like you, I can be in a hurry. Plenty of times, just like you, I’ve got an agenda. Plenty of times, just like anybody else, we don’t always understand people, appreciate them, and agree with them. That’s okay. But when I lead with these things, I want a great relationship with this person. So I’m going to learn, I’m going to honor them, I’m going to serve them. From that perspective, my odds of having great relationships are way high.