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Oct 24

4/5 ‘Roadblock Responses’ that block Conflict solutions

In this post, Conflict Solutions continues with our discussion on what blocks good communication by looking at questions or statements that hinder finding the real meaning behind ‘just words’.

1.  One of the biggest issues with talking with anyone is making sure what you said…is what they heard! 

Here is an example: recently, you overheard a young girl say: “I wish it would stop being such a hot summer”.  What would you think she meant?  How would some people reply?

If someone was using any of the ‘Roadblock Responses’ we talked about last time, you might hear them respond with:

1. Reassuring, sympathizing“Don’t worry; winter will be here soon enough.”

2. Probing, questioning“So why do you find the heat hard to handle?”

3. Giving answers using logic“Your system works better when it’s warmer.”

4. Warning, threatening“If you don’t stop complaining about the heat, others…”

5. Preaching, moralizing“You should be glad we’re not wasting heating system.”

6. Name calling, ridiculing“You’re a chill-baby and can’t stand the hot weather.”

7. Analysing, diagnosing“You probably didn’t drink enough water today.”

8. Diverting, sarcasm“Just concentrate on thinking cold thoughts; it’s easy.”

9. Ordering, commanding“Stop thinking about the heat and do what you can.”

10. Advising, giving solutions“Why don’t you go into the shade and cool down.”

11. Judging, criticizing, blaming“You are always complaining about something!”

12. Praising, agreeing“Yes, they always keep this room too hot.”

Later, you heard this young girl talking about what she really meant:  She had friends who lost their homes and some who lost their lives in the previous year’s forest fires.  What was the message she really said?

None of what was said in response to her statement matched what she was really trying to say.  Also what would she feel inside?  What would that cause you to do?  — Probably not talk with that person because they didn’t hear her real message.

2.  Part of learning to really get your message across is to really hear what is being said. 

No one picked up on this young girl’s concerns because they were all trying to give her their answers rather than make sure them hear what the issues was FIRST.

When we stop long enough to make sure we have heard ‘the words behind the words’, then communication have happened.  This does take practice as we usually just hear what we think is being said rather than checking to see if what we have heard is what is being said.

3. The following are a group “roadblock responses” that are most commonly used by parents.

Avoid at all cost! 

Tick the box if you have tried this method:

Roadblock Responses:


 1.  Reassuring,   sympathizing – “Don’t worry…”  “You’ll feel better….”
 2.  Probing,   questioning – “Why…Who…What did you   do….”
 3. Using logic – “Here   is why you didn’t do it right…..You always do…….”
 4. Warning, threatening – “If you don’t tell me…You’d better or else…”
 5. Preaching, moralizing – “You should know by now…You ought to…”
 6. Name calling, ridiculing – “You’re a sissy if you can’t….OK Smarty, tell me…”
 7. Analysing, diagnosing – “What wrong with … You’re just tired…Why not….”
 8. Diverting, sarcasm, withdrawal – “Let’s just watch TV…walking away from..”
 9. Ordering, commanding – “You must…You have to…You will do….
 10. Advising, giving solutions – “What I would do is…Let me tell you how to…”
 11. Judging, criticizing, blaming – “You’re just not trying…you are being lazy…”
 12. Praising, agreeing – “You’re right.  That other   person is such a &%$#…”


See if you can catch yourself using any of these ‘Roadblock Responses’ rather than making sure you hear what is being said —- before you respond to the other person.  Each of these 12 areas are giant blocks to really listening to what is being said.  We need to learn to listen between the words to see the real meaning behind what is being said.

Susanne Fengler. Blog Author

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