EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

HOW TO LISTEN
– let the other person have their say without interruption
– try to understand the central message in what is being said
– paraphrase back what was said to check your understanding
– acknowledge criticism without making excuses or blaming
– learn how to validate feelings

HOW TO GIVE FEEDBACK
– adjust your message to the other person’s understanding and perspective
– talk about specific behaviours rather than presumed motives or character defects
– suggest changes along with any criticism
– respect differences of opinion – you can disagree and still get along

BEING ASSERTIVE
– find the middle ground between caving in or blowing up
– talk about how you feel rather than making accusations
– ask for concrete changes rather than changes in attitudes
– try repeating the message in different ways if you are not getting through

ACKNOWLEDGING MISTAKES
– acknowledge the damage done without trying to minimize or make excuses
– make a commitment to not repeat the mistake
– offer a plan to remedy the mistake
– spell out the consequences of repeating the mistake
– start over without grudges and maintain an intention to keep improving

CONFIRMATION BIAS
– selective use of information that confirms one’s beliefs
– leads to over-generalization and polarization of opinions
– used in close relationships to blame the other person
– used in social groups to discriminate against people who are different

See here for dealing with anger in close relationships
See here for a model of assertiveness training

SEE ALSO
– Being A Good Listener
– Honest Communication
– The Challenge of Being Close
– How to Help Those We Love
– Emotional Translation