3 steps to better communication
by Kirsten Long - Life Coach
“Vanessa doesn’t really like cooking.” Mark chuckled as he explained to the friends around the table. “But she manages to produce a decent meal every day”.
The conversation carried on, and Vanessa continued clearing the table.
After they’d said goodbye to their friends, she turned to him and yelled “You never support me in anything” and stormed off to bed.
He blinked in surprise. What was that all about, he wondered?
How often have you heard something and the more you think about it, the more it hurts?
What Vanessa did was go through a whole lot of logical steps (to her mind anyway) that led her to a conclusion that was miles away from the original statement.
We so often do this, don’t we. We hurt ourselves by going down a path and remembering all sorts of other things that lead us to a statement that has little to do with the original one. Then we lash out and leave our partner feeling really confused.
So if you are feeling hurt about something someone has said, follow these three steps to try and clear up the communication.
1) Go through the steps of your own reasoning. Look closely at the leaps in logic that you have taken. Question whether you have made a reasonable conclusion from what you heard.
2) Explain your reasoning to the other person. Talk about those logical leaps you took and end by telling the other person what conclusions you came to. This will help them to understand how you got to that conclusion.
3) Ask them to go through their reasoning and how they got to their own conclusion about what was said. Listen carefully with an open mind.
Remember you have to be flexible to see different meanings and to understand another person’s point of view.
This is the crux of what makes communication so difficult.
We assume people are thinking and understanding and going down the same logical path that we are…
But they are not…
And they never will…
And the only way round this is to talk to each other about those logical leaps.
Explain your logical leaps; find out their logical leaps; and talk your way to clearer communication!
You start wondering what they were thinking. You start assuming all sorts of things about them and their reasoning. You heard something and now you have constrtucted a whole, logical (to your mind) resoning to get to your final