Welcome, visitor! [ Register | Loginrss

Improve Your Communication Skills: Communicate To …


Most of us set great store by having all the facts, knowing what is correct and being clear about exactly what is wrong. In most situations, this clarity and certainty serves us well.

We have been rewarded for having the right answers through school, college and our working lives. The more competent, technically specialised and senior we are in our organisations, the more difficulty we have approaching a conversation in any way other than to think we have all the facts and the right answer to the problem.

However, there are many difficult and sensitive conversations, where being right is not the most important factor. In issues of personal needs and wants, likes and dislikes, who is to say definitively what is right, and if indeed any are wrong? Relationships develop conversation by conversation and it is in the difficult conversations over matters like these that the quality of a relationship is determined.

When we feel strongly, we tend to argue for our position, for being right. It is therefore inevitable that if the other person feels differently about the issue, they must be wrong. We should be having conversations in which we get to understand our differing views, and so develop our relationships.

Instead, we end up in arguments, with winners and losers. When we argue we stop listening, we become emotional, and because we feel the other person is being unreasonable, we become frustrated and angry. Arguments like these lead nowhere and the more often this pattern is played out, the more relationships take on a win lose tone.

The problem is that what we say makes sense; to us. We forget that what the other person says also makes sense; to them. Each of us lives in a different world of perceptions, experiences, expectations, beliefs, fears, interpretations. But to each of us, our own world makes sense, and we argue from that perspective.

The only way to get anywhere in a disagreement is to listen and understand what the other person is saying, until you can see how it makes sense to them. You must first understand, before you can expect to be understood. Understanding someone does not mean that you will necessarily agree on their viewpoint, but it is an essential step in the process by which you can try to reach agreement.

As you prepare for a conversation remind yourself that you do not know all sides of the story and that your view is not the only possible one. Remind yourself that you might even have been contributing to the problem without realising it! The more complex an issue is, the more views there will be of it. The more contentious it is, the more those views will differ, and the more strongly people will defend their own.

You cannot open a conversation by stating your view on something strongly, with the conviction that it is the only reasonable one to hold, and expecting others to tell you openly how they see it. You are actually inviting them either to agree with you or to be wrong! That does not lead to the kind of conversation on which good relationships are built.

Step away from being right. Try being curious. Notice what a difference it makes to your conversations; and to your relationships.

maureen collins trains people how to handle difficult conversations, on difficult topics, with difficult people in her consulting practice, straight talk. she has a b.sc. degree in psychology from edinburgh university and over 25 years of consulting experience. she consults in communication in the workplace. in straight talk, get free straight talk tips. http://www.straight-talk.co.za

Related posts:

  1. How To Step Up To Difficult Conversations and Confront the … If you search for Toxic People on Google you will find several million sites. That is a lot of toxicity! You may well be working and living with some of these toxic people right now. You can recognise them quite easily. There is the victim; the one who blames and complains about everything he is […]…
  2. Save Your Relationship With Open Communication Relationships go through hard times and easy times. There may even be an occasion in which one partner cheats on the other. It could be a one time deal or it could be an ongoing affair. But even if that happens the relationship does not necessarily have to end. Let me tell you about a […]…
  3. How a Couples’ Therapist Can Improve Your Relationship When it feels as though you are doing everything in your power to keep your relationship strong and solid but it still feels as if something is not quite working, you just might find that it’s a great idea to start looking into a couples’ therapist. On many different levels, a couples’ therapist can help […]…
  4. Online Dating Has Definitely Changed The Way People … The advent of the internet has definitely changed the way people communicate. In our times, where love letters are taken over by emails and instant messaging, it is no surprise that dating has also taken a different course. Online dating has become one of the most popular ways to put oneself out in the romance […]…
  5. Join A Dating Club For Disabled And Improve Your Social Life There used to be a time when people never heard of the term “disabled dating”. However, this has changed and the credit should be given to the dating club for disabled. If it was not for these clubs, disabled people would not have had the courage to come forward and date people. Are you looking […]…
  6. Improve Your Social Life With A Disabled Dating Site Online dating has revolutionized the whole concept of dating as we know it. You do not have to rush off to the latest hot spots to meet girls or guys. What you can do instead is chat with them. You can get to know them from the comfort of your own home. It is the […]…
  7. Discover How To Improve The Most Important Skill In The … I wanted to write today about a concept that is considered to be the characteristic that women are attracted to: confidence. In fact, if you go up to any random women and ask her what she looks for in a guy, you can almost be positive that CONFIDENCE will be in her answer So what […]…
  8. How To Improve Your Relationship Compatibility By Setting … OK, so you do decided to have a relationship – that’s great. What’s the next thing? Here is one basic principle that most couples tend to omit, because they actually fear to talk about it. I’m talking about COMMON GOALS. What is that? Well, when Mary goes out with John, she, most probably, pictures herself […]…
  9. Learn How To Pick Up Women Easily If you are a single, straight guy who struggles to find the girls, have you ever found yourself irritated by those men who always seem to attract women. You know that they are no more attractive then you, they are not richer than you and yet you are always the one who goes home alone. […]…
  10. Learn The Art Of Chatting To Women When it comes to chatting up a woman, open ended questions are excellent conversation starters. You can stand there and make yourself look characterless with your boring interrogation that has a yes or no answer, or you can get the woman excited about talking to you. Creating pleasurable conversation is a lot harder than it […]…

247 total views, 2 so far today

  


Listed: November 20, 2008 4:08 pm