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Nov 08

4/9 Suggestions for Clear Expression in your Conflict Solutions

In our current series on the importance of good communication skills in relationships, we continue with suggestions to help produce better Solutions for resolving Conflicts.  We give you a list of 10 suggestions to help produce clear and honest expressions in relationships.

1.  Work on making your messages direct and Clear

Don’t assume that others know what you think or want.  Avoid the desire to ‘hint’ or tell a third person what the problem is.

2.  Messages should be given immediately

Delaying communication often makes the situation worse.  Your immediate response decreases the possibility of misunderstandings and faulty behaviour.  Immediate responses increase intimacy.  However, carefully choose your words as these lay the foundation to resolving the conflict!

3.  Messages should always be clear

Make your conversations a reflection of your thoughts, feelings, needs and observations without ‘muddy’ interpretations.  Try not to confuse what you see and hear from the outside world with what is going on inside you.

4.  Make your messages fit together, saying one thing

Uncertainty in what you are saying pulls the conversation in unclear directions.  Your body language and your speech need to agree with your message.  Avoid sending double messages which confuse people in what response they need to make.

5.  Learn for yourself what your own needs are

Avoid hinting or asking others to clarify what they think you want or need.  Spend some time sorting these two things out for your own benefit.  Meditate and pray about what is going on inside of you.

6.  Distinguish between your feelings and thoughts about other’s feelings

Many people inappropriately use the word ‘feel’ when they mean ‘think’.  Trying to read some one’s elses feelings is another part of this block to good communication.  For example:  “I feel like you don’t want to spend time with me”, said Chelsea.  This is unclear and often muddles communication.  Since she is not a ‘mind reader’, she really doesn’t know what he feels.  We need to deliberately identify the difference between needs and feelings, wants and expectations. 

7.  Focus on one issue or event at a time.

Few people can juggle their thoughts over different issues at one time, especially when emotionally charged events are being discussed.

8.  Messages need to be supportive

 Avoid using sarcasm, labelling, dragging up the past, using negative comparisons, giving one-sided judgemental statements, handing out threats and blaming others.  Win/lose games only hurt others and yourself as they block further resolution of any disagreement.

9.  Be responsible for your feelings, thoughts or actions

Other people can’t make YOU angry.  How you respond to a hurt is your responsibility.  Don’t try to lay the blame for your reactions on another.

We present these 10 suggestions as a way of clarify your own communication skills.  This also helps us see what exactly happened with Jacko and Chelsea’s experience.  How many of these 10 suggestions did they not understand?

Join us in our next post as we discuss ‘Steps in Collaborative Problems Solving’ for Conflict Solutions.

Susanne Fengler. Blog Author


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