Effective Communication My definition… ‘The transference of information in such a manner that there is clarity of content and emotion, and where the response required is given with the same level of transparency’
4. Remember that understanding is more important than agreement
5. Avoid using ‘ Relationship Killers ’! Statements which invalidate or disqualify another’s thoughts, feelings or needs in some way… “Well, that doesn’t make sense” “That wouldn’t bother me” “Don’t be silly”
“Well, that doesn’t make sense” “What makes you think that? “That wouldn’t bother me” “Why does that trouble you so much?” “Don’t be silly” “I’m struggling to understand what you mean…can you explain more?”
6. Learn to respond, rather than react Reactive styles of communication: Passive Aggressive Passive-Aggressive Responsive style of communication: Assertive Communication
Passive communicators try to convince people that everyone else is more important than them. They tend to lie because they are afraid of what will happen when they share a need or give their opinion. Sounds like: “Oh no, I’m fine, whatever you want. No, I don’t need to talk about this any more. No, I know you were just upset” They devalue their own needs, not out of a desire to benefit the other person, but out of self-protection.
Aggressive communicators want to be in charge. They know how to get what they want by trying to be loud and scary. Their basic message is… “I matter and you don’t” This style of communication destroys connection and sends anxiety through the roof.
The Passive-Aggressive communicator’s style is more sophisticated. They initially come across as a ‘passive’ (“no worries” they say) and then they go out and key your car! They are brilliant at sarcasm, veiled threats, judgements that sound like ‘advice’, withholding help… etc. Their message is confusing: “You matter…..well, no not really” This style of communication confuses and upsets and creates distance.
Assertive Communicators choose to have relationships where everyone has a high value. They are not afraid to be clear about what is happening inside of them and they know how to build trust. Their core message is… ‘You matter and so do I’ They can interpret their thoughts and feelings and communicate them effectively. They are prepared to listen and value what another person communicates about what is going on inside of them.
7. Make use of ‘I’ Statements Words that convey thoughts, feelings and needs… I think ____________ (your thoughts about the situation) I feel ____________ (be sure to state an emotion rather than a thought. For example: excited, frustrated, concerned, etc.) because ____________ (provide the specific reason you are feeling this way, preferably with an example) I would like ____________ (provide a suggestion on what you think could resolve the situation)
“I think that we need to take a look at how you manage your time. I feel frustrated because I can see that if you made some simple changes you would be able to get more done. I would like it if you would implement these steps for a few days and see how it works for you” Example 1: Instead of: Aggressive: “This is not good enough James. You are all over the place and you don’t seem to have a clue how to manage your time. I don’t know what to do with you!” Passive: “Yes, I’m really happy with your work James” Passive- Aggressive: Doesn’t communicate much with James but begins to take more and more work away from him and load in onto someone else….leaving James very confused!
“I think I’m not understanding what’s required of me Susan. I feel confused because your expectations seem to keep changing. I would like it if you could tell me exactly what my area of responsibility is in this project and what the deadlines are” Example 2: Instead of: Aggressive: “This is ridiculous Susan! One minute I’m to do this, the next, that. Organisation is obviously not your strong point is it?!” Passive: “Yes, I’m doing fine Susan, no problems” Passive- Aggressive: “Jo, are you finding Susan difficult too? She’s driving me nuts with her lack of clarity. Let’s ask Peter how he’s coping…”
Top Seven Summary: 1.Remember we are all wired differently 2.Don’t judge actions, try to understand motives 3.Listen 4.Understanding is more important than agreement 5.Avoid using ‘Relationship Killers’ 6.Learn to respond rather than react 7.Make use of ‘I’ Statements
Myth-Buster! “The total impact of a message is based on: 7% words used; 38% tone of voice, volume, rate of speech, vocal pitch; 55% facial expressions, hand gestures, postures and other forms of body language.”