Effective Communication in Action

Effective Communication in Action

When you look at the solution to a problem from a different perspective then everything gets easier. Child’s play really.

If you imagine two adults who are playing tic-tac-toe and are competing for the win you are going to see the big picture as if from a bird’s eye view.

Let’s accept for a moment that the game is a dispute. I put an “x”, my partner puts an “o” and we continue like this one after another. The tension is getting stronger. Who is going to win? At some point my partner puts his “o” and draws a smile. I smile back, I accept the dispute from its amusing angle and I understand that my partner’s intentions towards me are positive.

I quickly grasp the wink. A game or a dispute, call it whatever you want. The main thing I want to tell you is the tactics and ways for dealing with strained interpersonal relations. The rules of Effective Communication are not complicated. They require patience and perseverance, the skill to listen and be an honest and objective player. What do I mean by honest and objective? I will give an example in order to define what I have said.

Let’s say someone is constantly late. I say, “I feel angry and annoyed when you are regularly late and don’t call to let me know.” This is much better than saying, “You’re always late. You make me so angry!” The first version shows that I accept responsibility for my feelings, while the other blames someone else for what I feel.

When I am in conflict with someone, I also make a point to try to be objective and to hear all sides of the argument. If I can hear all sides, then I am more likely to be able to work with the other person and achieve a better outcome.

And of course, humour, used appropriately, can be helpful too. Try to take a playful attitude toward developing emotional self-control in high-conflict situations. If you are able to do that, the other person may find it easier to relax, and you’ll be more likely to find an acceptable outcome.

I hope you are now realizing that the key to a strong relationship is hidden in the skill to have a dispute. Inevitably, after a certain period of time the partners take off their rose coloured glasses and start noting their disagreements between each other as obstacles and reasons for disputes. The right way to lead Effective Communication in Action will provide you with a really strong basis for the future of your relationship.

And let me add one more tool I use to communicate more effectively, especially when faced with a really big issue. I acknowledge to myself right from the beginning that the issue may not be resolved that day. In fact, it might not be resolved tomorrow, either, or the following day, week, month, or year. (Sometimes an issue will never find resolution.)

Hearing each other out – the most important thing you have to remember for effective communication in action.

The important point to note here is not that we must always get to a resolution, but that we can communicate what is bothering us and know that it is being heard. Sometimes there is simply no resolution, and we may even have to agree to disagree. What I so often find, however, is that over time, an issue is just as likely to fade away until it simply isn’t that important anymore.

If you use all of the communication skills I’ve given here, your conflicts will not be as difficult to manage as they might first appear. You might even get to more satisfactory win/win resolutions rather win/ lose or lose/lose outcomes.

Of course, win/win is not always achievable, but if you both understand the importance of finding good resolutions, then you can expect your partner to cooperate and to be considerate of your thoughts and feelings.

Effective Communication starts and ends with the desire of both of you to listen to yourself and the other, to have a dialogue even when not inclined to accept the other’s point of view, to love yourself and the person next to you and always look for balance in the communication.

Using open and honest communication steers you away from old ways of solving conflicts and lays the path for more successful outcomes. You will learn that you can meet your needs in a more appropriate way. Maybe you’ll even create a whole new “dance.”

To the wonder of you,

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