11/11/2022 by Shirley B Johnson, M.Ed., LBSW, LPC 0 Comments
Reduce Your Holiday Stress by Improving the Way You Communicate
Conflict increases when the stress level goes up, especially during the holidays. There are so many added activities to your already busy schedule.
Having two grown children and four grandchildren who live in different towns, it really takes alot of coordination to get everyone together for the holidays. At first, we were like everyone else, we kept a family calendar in the kitchen or one person was responsible for keeping the calendar, which was usually me. Then I would forget to keep everyone informed of upcoming events or they would forget to tell me to put things on the calendar.
Electronics and the internet have made it much easier. But I have found from working with couples, that many of them do not use the apps that are available, and conflict increases because “no one informed me” of the upcoming event. I have found a solution to reduce conflicts by using a calendar that can be shared. What I really like is that I only share what is important to others and they can set it up so that I only get the information that I need.
Why is improving the way you communicate so important?
Through my years of experience working with couples, families, and businesses, I have learned that good communication is the main key to success in any of these groups. In fact, it is the key to the success of any relationship between two or more people.
There are many factors that go into good communication. I am only covering one in this article. It is using Google Calendar and a calendar app, Calengoo, to coordinate family activities.
Nowadays, everyone has a cell phone. Why not use it to keep track of your family and work activities? It can improve your communication by keeping everyone informed of the activities and tasks everyone remembers. It is a way to know where everyone is supposed to be at a given time or what needs to be completed by each person. It is also a good tool to use to guide weekly and daily conversations. Too many of us just pass each other and do not even communicate, especially with the most important people in our lives: our family, friends, and co-workers.
How to get started with setting up your calendar
You need to set up a Google Calendar on your computer and you need to download the Calengoo app on everyone’s phones. You’ll need to connect the app to Google Calendar.
Two other calendar apps that I have had some of my clients use are Cozi Family Organizer and Family Shared Calendar: FamCal.
Tips for success in using a coordinated calendar
Make sure that everyone has the app on their phone and knows how to use it to communicate with others. It is best if you have one person setting up the whole system and teaching the others how to use their part of it.
Have monthly, weekly, and/or daily meetings to discuss your calendar. This will open up communication by discussing what you have accomplished, need to accomplish, and what have you come up with. It opens up more productive communication in which people can share their thoughts and feelings.
When you have these discussions, be sure the let the others know that this is not meant to control them but just to share information others need to know. If they balk at doing it, offer to let them try it for one to two months. If at that time, they find that it hasn’t helped, they don’t have to participate.
The last thing you need to know about improving communication
For this to be most successful, there are two vital parts that should be implemented:
- Have everyone, who you want to share your schedule with, download the app on their phone.
- Have scheduled meetings to discuss the day, week, or month so that everyone can share.
- Make sure that everyone understands that they should enter their activities into this app to improve calendar coordination.
This is only one tool to use to improve communication. There are many more.
Please let me know what you think of this post and if you’d like more information on improving communication.