Why is effective communication such a challenge?

What I learned about it from Human Design.

by April Goff Brown

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I have lived with my husband for over 45 years. Overall, we have had good communication. Yet, there have been times I felt shut down, unheard, and where I couldn’t get him to stop talking long enough for me to say something. Sound familiar? (It could be the reverse of this too!)

I’d attended and taught communication skills in a previous career. I felt like I had heard it all. 

  • Use I statements.
  • Watch the tone of what you say.
  • Paraphrase back what you heard to demonstrate understanding.

I know you’ve heard these too.

What was missing from all of the courses I took was the context as to why communication can be problematic. It is very basic. In Human Design, the Throat Center is the motor that oversees communication. Three-fourths of the population have Defined Throats leaving just 25% of us with Open or Undefined Throats. What does that mean?

The majority of us have greater ease in communication. That defined motor enables you to speak with clarity, eloquently, having the ability to communicate from the Head and Ajna just as easily as from the other centers in the body. 

The smaller portion of the population struggles to be heard over all those Defined Throats. They may struggle with finding the right words. They wait and wait for an opening to say something and the pressure just builds until it gets blurted out, probably not in the most effective way either. They can get asked a direct question and their instant response is like a deer in the headlights – frozen searching for the words. An Undefined Throat person never wants to be the first one to introduce themselves. Trust me.

If you have a Defined Throat in your chart, what’s the number one thing you can do to improve communication?

Stop talking and begin to observe – are you doing all the talking and is the other person quiet? In business, observe your team – who is not saying anything? Is it that they aren’t interested or is it that they can’t get a word in? Personally, are you not getting a response or just a lot of uh-huhs, hmms, and other types of noncommittal responses? Are you finding yourself repeating yourself? You may have lost your audience.

The best thing you can do is be tuned into your audience of one or many. Recognize when it has become a one-way delivery of information or opinion.

If you have an Undefined Throat in your chart, what’s the number one thing you can do to improve communication?

Initiate by asking a simple question of permission such as “I have a thought I’d like to share with you. May I?”  or “I have some input to what you were saying. May I share it?” Your Open Throat needs recognition to be able to effectively share and by asking for that recognition, you have your audience.

As an Open Throat person, I have been using this strategy effectively with my Defined Throat husband. When I have something I want to share with him and I want his attention, I always ask if I can share something with him and mostly it’s a quick yes. Other times it is when he finishes up something and so we set the time. He also has learned to ask me if he can react or is it only listening I’m looking for.  This simple awareness and alignment have afforded so much less frustration on my part and overall, so many more deep, insightful and fruitful conversations between us.

Effective, respectful, loving communication is a key to a strong relationship. Understanding your Human Design Throat Center can help you immensely in building better communication with others. To learn more about your Human Design, obtain your free chart and report at www.aprilgoffbrown.com/human-design-chart. It’s a great starting place. 

Then, schedule your personal foundation reading to get deeper into your design at www.aprilgoffbrown.com/readings/foundational-human-design.