Psychological Solutions For A Better Life

Posts tagged ‘communication skills’

The Art of Listening

woman-listening“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  This quote from Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change) describes succinctly the problem most people have when communicating. Most courses and trainings refer to ‘active listening’ as a desirable practice, yet it teaches people to listen to the words, the content, and then repeat it back to the speaker.

In contrast, deep listening as I understand it is listening for the meaning behind the words, is listening for the feeling that the words are pointing it. In a way, it is listening with a sense or curiosity WITHOUT checking with our own mind whether it makes sense to us, we can relate to it, whether it is stupid/reckless/naive to name just a few examples. If we would listen that way (checking with our own mind) we would only listen to our own thoughts about something and not to the other person. (more…)

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#3 Mistake That Kills The Love In Relationships: Ignoring the Weather Forecast

stormy weatherMost people have enough common sense to mind the weather forecast. You can see that on the motorway when all the cars are slowing down as soon as it starts raining heavily. I remember back when we had a sailing boat, we wouldn’t go out when the winds were so high that the risk factor out-weight the pleasure that could be gained. Of course, there are most likely some exceptions, some people are dare devils who zoomed along the motorway with high-speed totally ignoring the conditions.

Most people however ‘drive to the conditions’. If the weather is particularly nasty, they might even elect to stay at home. It makes perfect sense considering that driving in stormy weather is not pleasurable, it’s dangerous, one’s field of vision is impaired, and you might not get very far. (more…)

5 Mistakes That Kill The Love In Relationships (# 2) I am right and you are wrong

wrong rightNumber two of the mistakes that kill the love in relationships is the conviction that MY view of things is right and YOUR views of things is wrong. I don’t think there has ever been a couple that presented for relationship counselling, coaching, or therapy that was not caught in that erroneous assumption.

To be fair, it is not only an affliction couples suffer from, but human kind in general follows that strict line of thinking. Hence the fights, wars, and conflicts we observe throughout history and present day circumstances. How much suffering happened because people thought they were right and hence their actions were justified: from human sacrifice, to slavery, to witch hunt, to wars, oppression, human rights …. the list is endless.  (more…)

8 Steps To Successful Conflict Resolution

Conflict 3 I mentioned before that conflict arises when a person’s needs or expectations are not met. However, conflict does not just rest on a difference in needs but also on the negative meaning that people give an action or behaviour. Thus our perception and interpretation of a situation plays a large part in conflict.
Your partner comes home later than expected without calling you. You feel disappointed and hurt and are getting angry because you consider his actions disrespectful; he obviously doesn’t care about you; he can’t be bothered. You make a scene and accused him of all the things you just thought.

(more…)

Is This Really A Feeling?

Emotions"I feel I am really in touch with my emotions! However, often I feel as if people are not interested in what I have to say! Sometime they even give me the feeling as if they are bored with me or think I am stupid. That makes me feel like having enough of this. I really feel I deserve more respect."

The above could very well be a typical conversation I am observing in my practice, in groups, or in private situations. People use a lot the word 'feel'. And that is pretty good, because the moment we access our feelings and express them, we have a much greater chance to connect with others.

But are the examples really really examples of feelings? Take the first sentence; what do you know about the person's feelings? Is the person proud, pleased, satisfied? We know nothing about his/her feelings. What is expressed is a thought, a concept, an observation, dressed up with the word feel.

Actually, it's a perfect example of poor communication. The observation is not accurate because it's diluted with a judgment, and feeling doesn't even come into it. Every time you can substitute the word 'feel' with the word 'think' you are expressing a thought, not a feeling. Beware of the words

that, like, as if,

they signal to you that you are expressing a thought! This is different when you do express a feeling. Then it doesn't make sense to exchange the word feel with the word 'think'. You can't say >>> I think sad, I think hungry, I think tired. It just won't work.

If you use thinking words dressed up as feeling words, you are not connecting. Sadly, you are not connecting with yourself and how you really feel, and you are certainly not connecting with others.

Request: The 4th Step in Effective Communication

I have written previously about the steps of the Connecting
Dialogue, a strategy of communicating with others that has a great
chance of getting your needs met. It's also great for resolving
conflict. For an outline of the whole 4 step process go to "The Connecting Dialogue"

Below you'll find a video clip from an accomplished NVC trainer who
explaines in more detail the importance of the steps. Here is the 4th
step: Making a Request:

http://www.youtube.com/v/aHJN4Y14UUE&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1

Needs: The 3rd Step in Effective Communication

I have written previously about the steps of the Connecting
Dialogue, a strategy of communicating with others that has a great
chance of getting your needs met. It's also great for resolving
conflict. For an outline of the whole 4 step process go to "The Connecting Dialogue"

Below you'll find a video clip from an accomplished NVC trainer who
explaines in more detail the importance of the steps. Here is the first
step: Expressing Your Needs:

http://www.youtube.com/v/ZeJzWlQ-0do&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xcc2550&color2=0xe87a9f&border=1

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