(from Alan Heeks book)
Communication – Basic Skills. This is a short list for a vital topic!
- Use ‘I’ statements: Own your feelings, you’re entitled to them. It’s easier for the other person to hear “I feel upset” than “You’re upsetting me”.
- Stay in the present: Talk about the present situation, don’t generalise or add on past grievances.
- Be specific: To say “When you ignored my question, I felt upset” gives the other person clear information which helps them understand you.
- Be constructive: Ask for what you’d like from the other person, gently not insistently.
- Listen and seek understanding: Ask the other person about their feelings, clarify what actually happened. Many conflicts arise from misunderstandings.
- Be clear and direct: Avoid sarcasm. And don’t expect the other person to read your mind or pick up every hint you drop.
- Don’t escalate: calmly repeat. If you feel the other person is not hearing a key statement or request from you, just repeat it calmly. And again if need be. Don’t lose your temper or exaggerate to get through.
- Acknowledge the other person. It will help the other person if you assure them you hear their feelings, you can take their point of view. This is not the same as agreeing with them!