The other night, when I heard myself saying \”Forget it…I don\’t want to talk about it.\” I heard this little angle pop up on my shoulder and ask me what the most important keys to good relationships are. I found myself acknowledging what I\’ve said, along with most professionals in our field, literally thousands of times. Good communication!
Unfortunately, because the word communication has become such a buzz word, everyone having heard it for the umpteenth time, most people close their ears immediately when they hear it. Ironic isn\’t it?!
Well today I\’m going to give you four simple tips that will absolutely transform your communication, and as a result, your relationships (if practiced consistently). So go ahead and re-open your mind and pretend this is the first time you\’ve ever heard that communication is so key.
When trying to solve a persistent problem, don\’t communicate in the way you always have. And if you do, don\’t be shocked when you just sink deeper into the rut that takes you to that same unhappy ending again. Instead, try these principles that are part of the model we use with our own families. It\’s called Solution Talk:
1) Have the right attitude. Be humble, tentative, non-judgmental, open to be changed/influenced by the other person, and most important, be curious.
2) Keep the right focus. Stay on just one issue, stay focused in the present and future, and look for solutions and common ground.
3) Manage your emotions. Be responsible for how you feel. Don\’t let your emotions get high-jacked by the situation. Recognize when emotions start to take you away from the essential attitudes and foci listed above, and manage them.
4) Avoid toxic communication. NEVER allow words that feel like a personal attack, blaming, defensive, or belittling come out of your mouth! If you first \”do no harm\”…then great good has the opportunity and safety to emerge.
So there you have it! As simple as it sounds, it will have deeply profound results in your relationships if you problem-solve with just those four tips. I have seen miracles happen when people are taught for the first time how to communicate effectively, and the other person really \”hears\” what is being said. Please use this on your most important relationships within your family first. That\’s where the world can be changed the most. Then, use it anywhere you want to improve things. I admit that I have a needed conversation waiting for me in my home too. So, let\’s get out there and do something about it!
To Family Success and Happiness!