For example, the person sending the communication doesn’t really like the person on the other end. The person receiving the communication is not paying attention and doesn’t really want to get the communication he or she is being given. The list goes on and on.
Actively read their demeanor and listen to their responses. Try to ascertain if they, in fact, are being straightforward and truthful in their conversation as opposed to just saying what they think you want to hear.
a. How do you listen effectively? First, you acknowledge when someone is speaking to you. Have you ever known someone who just talks and talks? I have, and I found that if I acknowledge them by saying simple things like, “I got it,” or “I understand,” or even, “I heard you,” it lets them know that I really did hear what they were saying. This doesn’t mean that you agree with them; it just means that you have heard what they said.
b. Another great listening technique is to ask questions. I talk about that in the next rule, but just know that the process of asking questions demonstrates that you are listening and interested in the person you are speaking with, which reinforces that relationship. The more you focus on listening, the better you will get at it.
a. Ask at least one direct and relevant question before voicing your opinion. This opens up discussion and removes the risk of people feeling that you are trying to force your attitude or opinion on them. Take note of how people respond, both verbally and through body language, to what you have to say.
b. Ask questions that effectively deal with any preconceived assumptions you may have. Keep asking questions until the answers received leave you considering the facts only.
c. Be polite and open. Encourage discussion and promote understanding and interest. Be careful not to appear to be too forceful. Be aware of your voice, body language, and choice of words.
5) Decide if it’s worth the fight. Take the temperature of the person you are about to talk to. Is the person in a good mood and comfortable? It may be better to postpone serious discussion if the timing is bad.
a. Use your abilities to shift feelings positively. Ask thoughtful questions, show respect for others, boost morale, encourage involvement, and reduce stress.
b. Sometimes people have intense feelings that may predate their current relationship. If they have sensitive or anxiety-driven feelings, you can develop nurturing regimes and interests that do not demand so much from them. By allowing others to answer questions, you allow them to stay in charge of themselves even when you are guiding them. They can face the mirror instead of defending themselves. This is necessary and especially potent with people who harbor memories of abuse. They develop self-preserving mechanisms to protect themselves and may find it difficult to open up and communicate comfortably.
c. Sometimes people have strong attitudes that need to be reworked. If you come across as being too aggressive, demanding, or offensive, you can force others to shut down. For example, if you use expressions that demand change, your words may pack an additional punch that could be perceived as an attack. For example, when someone says, “If you had done your work earlier…I would have made my deadline,” they imply that it’s your fault that they didn’t make their deadline.
By reworking attitudes, we can be more direct and effective in our style. Perhaps a new approach such as, “It would really help if you could get your portion of the project done by this date so that we can all make our deadline,” would be a little more effective and a lot less antagonistic.
6) Sometimes you have to let others win. We human beings are funny creatures. We like to be right, so much so that we’ll sometimes go to great lengths to be right about things. However, being right to the point of making someone else wrong doesn’t foster good communication.
a. Think about what changes you can make in your approach to take pressure off a topic of contention. Try looking at the issues that cause aggravation for those people with whom you have to work. Sometimes a simple change in time schedules that reduces the urgency to get things done can reduce pressure in such a way as to reduce the stress in the relationship. Whenever you take the initiative to calm things down, you let others chill out and regroup. You can endeavor to let them have the upper hand and regain perspective.
b. Keep in mind also that no one is perfect. Sometimes willingness to accept another person’s shortcomings is a more powerful move toward resolution than talking about those shortcomings will ever be. Actions speak louder than words.
may be guilty. This is your heads up to beware.
have interpreted it correctly, and then, if any action is required, ensure that everyone is clear about what needs to be done and by whom.