4 Steps To Effective Communication
It is common that the people who are promoted, within the company, are those who have, among other qualities, great communication skills. They are those that we admire because they express the right word at the right time, those who know how to say “no” without hurting the feelings of others, people who are consistent with what they think, say, and do.
Surely, at this moment, you remember someone, close to you, with those characteristics.
Non-violent communication is the methodology created by Marshall Rosenberg, an American psychologist, in the 1960s, and which, despite having passed many years, is still in force, thanks to its excellent results.
It is a very different mode of communication, which we are used to.
How many times, in our day-to-day, do we make judgments -mixing them with objective information-, we give advice, without being asked, we try to repress the uncomfortable emotions of others, we make unconstructive criticism, we threaten …
Well, this type of communication is violent, and we practice it without being aware of the damage that it can cause to the other person.
The opposite side would be non-violent communication, one that tries to establish closeness and proximity with others and that seeks to reach an understanding, in which both people win, the famous “win-win”.
And now, how can we integrate this non-violent communication?
Traveling through 4 trails. Before getting into them, it is essential to empathize with the person, understanding why they do what they do and knowing in advance that what they do has a positive intention, which is to cover their need, although sometimes, others, it costs us to see it.
And beware … because empathizing does not mean agreeing with what he does or says, but rather appreciating how that person may be feeling in that situation. The important thing is, therefore, to have the will to understand her, both her and the circumstances that surround her.
Let’s see how we can travel through these 4 trails:
1. Separating the judgments from the objective facts.
As humans that we are, before an event, thoughts about what is happening will invade us. It is advisable to put them aside and focus on what exactly happened: it is not the same to say: “we have been waiting for you for 20 minutes to start the meeting”, than to say, “uff, you are very late”.
2. Express how we feel about this circumstance.
Here we have to make use of our wide emotional vocabulary and choose the emotion that best suits our feelings: “angry, powerless, sad …”, it is not enough to say, you make me feel good or bad. An example would be, “when I see that you do not arrive when the meeting starts, you make me feel powerless since there are many of us who waste time, waiting for you.
3. Express what our need is and ask for behavior change.
“I need you to change this behavior and that, from now on, you arrive on time for the meetings.”
“I really appreciate you making that effort.”
What do we get by walking these trails?
That the person is motivated to change, that they respond to our request vs. react abruptly, that communication flows, and that we manage to express our need, without hurting. In short, improve communication, assertiveness and create closeness with others.
It is true that it is up to the other person to agree to our request or not, that is something that is beyond our control.
Finally, it should be noted that words are not innocent, words create realities, hence we have to be very careful when selecting them.