From birth we are engaged in the process of communicating. Why, then, do we experience so many problems in communicating our wants and needs to others? Communication involves more than just speaking words. In order to communicate effectively, we must be willing to express feelings/thoughts and be willing to listen to what is being said.
* "Tell me about it."
* "This seems important to you."
* "Letís talk about it."
* "How do you feel about it?"
* "Iíd like to know what you think about it."
The approach you take in confronting others will determine the success of communication. Some important rules to remember are:
COMMUNICATING IS NOT ALWAYS EASY. HOWEVER WHEN YOU CAN PUT THE TECHNIQUES DISCUSSED INTO ACTION AND WORK ON POSITIVE WAYS OF COMMUNICATING, THE RESULTS CAN OFTEN BE POSITIVE EXPERIENCES. THE MORE YOU PRACTICE THESE SKILLS THE MORE NATURAL THEY BECOME. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ADMIT TO YOURSELF THAT COMMUNICATING IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE PRODUCTIVE.
TEN GUIDELINES OF COMMUNICATION
1. Be an active listener and do not answer until the other person has finished talking.
2. Be slow to speak. Think first about what you are going to say and how it may sound. Speak in such a way that the other person can understand what you say.
3. Speak the truth always, but do it with unconditional love. "Unconditional" means no matter what you say or do, I will still love you.
4. Do not use silence to frustrate the other person. Explain why you are hesitant to talk at this time.
5. Do not become involved in quarrels, fighting, name-calling or cursing. It is possible to disagree without quarreling.
6. Do not respond in anger. Count to 10, leave the room and come back when you can respond in an acceptable manner.
7. When you are wrong, admit it and ask for forgiveness. Remember these six important words, "I am sorry" and "I was wrong". When someone confesses to you, tell them you forgive them. Be sure it is forgotten and not brought up to that person again. Keep the past the past.
8. Do not make promises. When promises are not kept, feelings of guilt appear and the desire to give up arises.. Make a commitment to the other to try to improve. When you fall, then try again and again. Failing is when you no longer try.
9. Do not blame or criticize the other, restore and encourage them by building them up. If someone verbally attacks, criticizes or blames you, do not respond in a like manner.
10. Try to understand the other personís opinion. Make allowances for differences. Be concerned about their interests. Sometimes there is neither a right or wrong way, just an opinion. You do not always have to agree.
"TELL EACH OTHER EVERY DAY THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AND FORGIVE EACH OTHER. IF YOU LOVE AND FORGIVE, YOU WILL BE TOGETHER THE REST OF YOUR LIVES
"GETTING THROUGH TO EACH OTHER"
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATING: SELF-EVALUATION
Answer each of the questions below with a number 1-4.
1- Most of the time
1. _____ Tune out people who say something you donít agree with or donít want to hear?
2. _____ Concentrate on what is being said even if you are not really interested?
3._____ Assume you know what the speaker is going to say and stop listening?
4. _____ Repeat in your own words what the speaker has just said?
5. _____ Listen to the other personís viewpoint, even if it differs from yours?
6._____ Learn something from each person you meet, even if it is ever so slight?
7._____ Find out what words mean when they are used in ways not familiar to you?
8._____ Form a rebuttal in your head while the speaker is talking?
9._____ Give the appearance of listening when you arenít?
10. ____ Daydream while the speaker is talking?
11. _____ Listen for main ideas, not just facts?
12. _____ Recognize that words donít mean exactly the same thing to different people?
13. _____ Listen to only what you want to hear, blotting out the speakerís whole message?
14. _____ Look at the person who is speaking?
15. _____ Concentrate on the speakerís meaning rather than how he or she looks?
16. _____ Know which words and phrases you respond to emotionally?
17. _____ Think about what you want to accomplish with your communication?
18. _____ Plan the best time to say what you want to say?
19. _____ Think about how the other person might react to what you say?
20. _____ Consider the best way to communicate ( written, spoken, phone, bulletin board, memo, etc.)
21. _____ Think about what kind of person youíre talking to (worried, hostile, disinterested, shy, rushed, stubborn, impatient, etc.)?
22. _____ Feel you usually Ďget throughí to the other person?
23. _____ Think, ĎI assumed he or she would know thatí?
24. _____ Allow the speaker to vent negative feelings toward you without becoming defensive?
25. _____ Exercise regularly to increase your listening efficiency?
26. _____ Take notes when necessary to help you remember?
27. _____ Hear sounds without being distracted by them?
28. _____ Listen to the speaker without judging or criticizing?
29. _____ Restate instructions and messages to be sure you understand correctly?
30. _____ Come in with a statement about what you believe the speaker is feeling?