I am constantly amazed at the problems employers and employees encounter simply because they are not able to communicate effectively.
Deadlines are missed, deals are lost, good workers leave, and teams break up all because people simply don’t communicate in effective healthy ways. This month’s offering features tips to help you improve your communication.
1. Communication problems stem from people’s disagreements about what they think is going on compared to what they believe is important.
2. A communication blocker is only a “bad habit” if we are interested in change.
3. We are all communication disabled.
4. Its not what we say, its how we say it.
5. The first step to accepting another person is to tolerate them.
6. If you are really interested in effective communication, you will end all triangles and talk to the person rather than about them.
7. You cannot change anyone else’s behavior. You can only change how you choose to respond to their behavior.
8. When we are upset with someone, it is often because they simply failed to respond to a situation the way we would.
9. People have four goals: to get things done, to get things right, to get along, to get appreciation.
10. Behind all behavior is a good intent. Failure to acknowledge this good intent kills initiative.
11. If you don’t know what the person’s good intent is, make up a good intent.
12. Good communication can be compared to having the correct area code before calling someone. In the world of communication, positive intent is the “area code.” And like the area code, it important that positive intent comes first.
13. We use “I” language when we want to be understood and “you” language when we want to accuse.
14. Talk about the behavior – not the person.
15. Show how their behavior is self defeating.
16. Suggest options.
17. Before approaching a difficult person, ask yourself: “What do I want to accomplish?”
18. If you know someone who is successful in dealing with difficult people, seek them out.
19. Learn to change your self-talk. “Somewhere in this experience is an opportunity.” “I can be flexible.” “Oh well.” “This too shall pass.” “What will it matter when I’m ninety-five?” “This used to bother me. It doesn’t anymore.” “All things work together for good.”
These are just a few of the ideas that might help you improve your skills as a communicator. Try some of them for a couple of weeks. See if they work. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results!