Kathleen Thoren, Guest Author
Sound too Old School? Perhaps.
What has made this saying stick around for so long? Because its true and powerful!
It’s human nature to go into defensive mode if one feels they are being attacked. No matter how true your words may be, when words feel like weapons, the other person will automatically be ready to fight or retreat.
Caution! HOW you say something can change its entire meaning. And when you are stressed, HOW you say something matters even more. At these times, turn yourself into an “Investigator” instead of a “Judge” by using the phrase “Isn’t That Interesting”. This changes your perspective and focus from judge of who is right and wrong to INVESTIGATOR of facts and feelings.
Investigators ask questions to broaden understanding, learn, clarify, and absorb another person’s point of view – without necessarily agreeing with it.
So, if we use excellent skills such as asking questions, listening, exploring possibilities and being open to change, then we’re communicating effectively, right?
Again, not so fast! Check out your non-verbal cues and vocal inflections. Is your body language and intonation congruent with your words?
Ask Questions… with curiosity and calm VS with accusation and agitation
Listen… with eye contact and acknowledging “uh-huh’s” VS with a frown and suspicion
Explore New Ideas… with courage and openness VS with negativity and “sighs” of dismay
Offer Suggestions… with encouragement and hope VS emotionally aloof impatience
Share Your Feelings… with honesty and confidence VS with hostility or wishy-washiness.
Take responsibility for your feelings/reactions. You do not want to ignore your first reactive thoughts and feelings. Even though they may not be helpful for communication in the heat of the moment, they are very important to address later in a safe environment alone or with a trusted friend or mentor.
Give these tools a try and we believe they will improve your communication with those in your life and create a happier atmosphere for you and them.
Copyright © 2015 by Kathleen Thoren. With an MA in Counseling, Kathleen Thoren has worked with clients individually and in groups through her private practice in Tempe, AZ. For 22 years as a relationship specialist, she helps people break free from what keeps them from experiencing happy, harmonious relationships and the life they want. Visit Kathleen’s Facebook page and Website.
Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.
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