Communicate Effectively

In a previous post, I gave you some top communication tips for creating healthy, fulfilled relationships. I’m talking here about creating awesome relationships with anyone, whether it’s with your partner, boss, daughter or father. In this blog, I’m going to give you three more strategies that you can add to your toolbox. Combining all these will have you kicking butt and feeling like a relationship rock star.

  1. Don’t say “never” or “always” when speaking to another person. First of all, it’s not true. If you say something like, “You always interrupt me” the other person shuts you down and doesn’t hear another thing you say because they know they don’t always They believe there are some times (whether common or not) when they’re patient and actually listen to you. Instead, say what’s true and what you really mean. For example, instead of saying “You never listen to me” you could say, “I don’t feel like you’re understanding how important this is to me. Could you tell me what you hear me saying?”
  2. No lecturing (even with your kids). Remember loving acceptance (even when you want to rip someone a new one). If you can’t remember that, think of how you feel when someone lectures you. Are you listening or are you resentful and waiting for them to shut the heck up? When you lecture someone they generally stop listening and you end up in a power struggle that you don’t want to be in. Find ways to ask questions and make it more of a dialogue instead of a lecture. Remember to keep your answers and requests short and to the point.
  3. Don’t assume the other person needs or wants the same things you do. You can actually tell what another person likes and wants because that’s what they’re doing. Yup, we generally act in the way we want to be treated. Do you have a sister who sends cards for every birthday and holiday? Well, guess what? She doesn’t want that lame phone call on her birthday because she believes you didn’t think about her early enough to send a card on time. Put a yearly reminder in your calendar a week before her birthday and send a card out then. Think of what’s important to the other person, not what’s important to you (for the record, my sister sends cards for everything and I do a great job when I follow my own advice and a bad job when I don’t. This is yet another example of how we teach what we need to learn and of how very imperfect I am in case you were thinking otherwise).
Kate Rufener