I've been reading Mary DeMuth's book on authentic parenting. It's not an easy read, but it does have good thoughts to ponder.
Today I read about purposeful communication. Of course, she's talking about with kids, but really, these are such good ideas you could use it with many different people.
I've included an excerpt from the book below. If you don't have kids (or even if you do), try replacing "my children" with my spouse, parent, or friends.
Resolved. How have I resolved to connect with my children this year? Have I changed the way I approach my children since last year? Why or why not?
Determined. How have I been determined to really know my children's hearts in the last two weeks?
Deliberate. What deliberate steps have I taken to reveal my heart to my children?
Intentional. How have I been intentional with each of my children? How have I tailored my words to each child this week?
Committed. Have I committed myself to knowing my children? How?
Decided. What have I decided about each child that prevents me from connecting with him or her? What barriers have I erected? What obstacles have my children put between us?
Resolute. How have I resolved this year to pursue the soul of each child? What prevents me from doing that?
Persistent. When my children don't engage with me, am I persistent? Am I bothered by interruptions of my children?
Tenacious. Are you a tenacious reciever and sender in the communication game? If a child blows you off, do you gather yourself and try again? How easily do you quit?