September 01, 2020
How can you learn the art of healthy communication? My first response would be practice, but often times that practicing can have disastrous results as you can frequently end up at odds with your partner. It can be a long and hard road with a lot of stumbling blocks, but I will try to make the process a bit easier.
We all have our own unique styles of how we express our feeling, that is, communicate with each other. Some styles are very direct and are the pull no punches delivery style. They hit hard and more often than not deliver the blow with speed and ferocity failing to think how it is going to be received. It’s a more hit and run style… Then there are those who are more non-verbal or sarcastic…delivering a more underhanded swipe at the receiver.
The first thing to remember when you are communicating with another is that none of us are perfect beings. We all have different styles and we can learn from those people in our life about those styles. Appreciate those unique forms of communication.
One very effective way to communicate is to come from your own feelings, so begin your communication with the word I. I statements are an especially effective communication tool when you are immersed in a Hot Topic.
For example: Your partner comes at you with an attack communication. First thing is to take a step back and don’t just jump in carelessly and without thought. Take a deep breath, count to 10 and engage with your partner…listen intently without judgment and look directly into his or her eyes.
I want to sum this up in 9 easy steps that will lead you to BETTER COMMUNICATION all-around.
These steps can be used both in your business and your personal life. Just remember…When you communicate effectively with another person you can have whatever you want in life. Is money your goal? A great job? A loving relationship? Peace in your home life? You can have it all if you can learn to communicate effectively.
Here are 9 amazing strategies to improve your communication skills.
Stay Focused: Sometimes it’s tempting to bring up past seemingly related conflicts when dealing with current ones. Unfortunately, this often clouds the issue and makes finding mutual understanding and a solution to the current issue less likely. It can also make the relevant discussion more taxing and even confusing. Try not to bring up past hurts or other topics. Stay focused on the present, your feelings, understanding one another and finding a solution.
Try calming yourself before any important discussion by practicing meditation. It can help you to be more present in all areas of your life.
People often think they’re listening but are really thinking about what they’re going to say next when the other person stops talking. Truly effective communication goes both ways. While it might be difficult, try really listening to what your partner is saying. Don’t interrupt. Don’t get defensive. Just hear them and reflect what they’re saying so they know you’ve heard. Then you’ll understand them better and they’ll be more willing to listen to you.
You can become a more effective listener by employing some of these techniques:
Change your point of view:
In a conflict, we want to be heard and understood. We talk about our point of view to sway the other person into seeing things our way. If this is what we do all the time, we are not focusing on the other person’s point of view.
Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes just for a moment…try looking at the other person’s point of view before explaining yours. . Remember this, if you don’t understand “it” ask better questions. That will also make the other person feel like he or she have been heard.
If a person responds to you in a negative way it can be difficult to understand their point of view. If someone responds to you and is critical. Resist the urge to get defensive and get into attack mode. Perhaps the truth is painful but maybe listening to the other person’s assessment of you could just be a growing experience. Of course criticism may be hard to hear, when colored by emotions, but it can provide us with useful information about how we are seen by others.
Examination of their words in a calm, collected manner might just be very beneficial. Thank them and acknowledge the fact that you will look closely at what they are saying and take it to heart.
It’s always a good idea to take responsibility for your success or failure in the communications. Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong. That shows strength and often can diffuse a situation.
REMEMBER AND THIS IS CRITICAL. Use the “I” and come from feelings
Always come from “I” and not the “you” attack mode. Rather than saying things like, When you begin statements with “I” and make them about yourself and your feelings, like, “I feel angry when that happens.” It becomes less accusatory, provokes less defensiveness, and helps to get your point of view across instead of making the person feel like he or she is being attacked.
Try to find a compromise.
Instead of trying to ‘win’ the argument on your own, look for solutions that make it a win win. Try compromise or think outside the box and find a solution that gives you both what you want most. This is far better than one person “winning” at the other’s expense.
Resolve the issue together.
A Healthy Time Out is sometimes the answer:
There are times when it is more productive to not speak at all because tempers have gotten far too heated. Maybe it becomes like “the elephant in the room.” If and when that happens it’s far better to take a break and come back to it when tempers have cooled. Don’t let a discussion get out of hand because you are not being constructive. Just call for a time out to do some reflection.
Don’t Give Up:
A break from the discussion is sometimes a good idea but you need constructive resolution. Return to it with mutual respect and commit to seeing the other person’s point of view. Don’t give up on resolving conflict if you want to save the relationship. Communication is a key to any successful relationship so keep the lines of communication open.
Ask For Help If You Need It:
If all else seems to be failing and you are not ready to call it a day then perhaps you might consider couples counseling, relationship coach or family therapy to offer up some tools. Even if your partner doesn’t want to go, you may benefit. It is about not ‘being right’. You can ask yourself this: “Would I rather be right or be loved?” “Would I rather be right or be in a relationship?”
Would I rather be right or get this deal done? Sometimes you can win the battle and lose the war.
Here’s a good tool for those in a romantic relationship.
If you are having a conflict you could put your hand on the other person’s heart and look directly into their eyes. Hold that for a minute or two just maintaining the heart connection and eye contact. This sort of connection exercise can really bring you closer and make you feel very connected and may even dissolve the conflict. You suddenly see how much you care about each other.
At the end of the day it is always critically important to be respectful of the other person, even if you don’t like their actions.
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