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GUIDELINES FOR CLEAN COMMUNICATION
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Article by Shirley Hicks
TEN GUIDELINES FOR CLEAN COMMUNICATION
- AVOID JUDGEMENTAL WORDS AND LOADED TERMS
eg childish behaviour, acting helpless, thoughtless as usual
- AVOID GLOBAL LABELS
eg he is stupid, sexist, crazy
- AVOID “YOU” MESSAGES OF BLAME AND ACCUSATION
eg you never go anywhere with me
“You” message - You’re always spoiling our evening by showing up late
“I” message - When you come home late I feel sad about missing the evening with you
Using I Messages removes blame and direct causation
- AVOID OLD HISTORY
- AVOID NEGATIVE COMPARISONS – their sole function is to punish and attack- they never resolve the problem
- AVOID THREATS – the basic purpose of a threat is to say, “If your bad, I’m going to punish you”
- DESCRIBE YOUR FEELINGS, RATHER THAN ATTACK WITH THEM.
Eg I’m sad and tearful.
Attacking with your feelings makes them a weapon
- KEEP BODY LANGUAGE OPEN AND RECEPTIVE
- USE WHOLE MESSAGES – these consist of observations, thoughts, feelings, needs and wants
Observations – statements of facts that are neutral without judgement or inference eg Yesterday it rained non stop
Thoughts – your beliefs and opinions, theories and interpretation of a situation eg my idea was, I wondered if, I suspect that, I worried that Take responsibility for your opinion
Feelings – very important part of the message
Needs - Use “I’ eg I need a break. Own your needs.
- USE CLEAR MESSAGES – clear messages separate observations, opinions, feelings and needs. Contaminated messages mix or mislabel these components to create hurt and confusion.
Eg “You’re talkative as usual “ – Contaminated thought
“I notice you’re pretty quiet tonight (Observation).
It makes me think that you’re not interested in me (thought) and I feel hurt and a little angry (feeling).
I’d really like you to talk with me more (need)” – Clear message
9 Feb 2011
Last Update: 10 Feb 2011
Article/Information supplied by Shirley Hicks
Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.