Good communication requires being able to express your needs and wants as well as being able to understand the other person’s perspective.
Guidelines for Listening
- Be an active listener -attend verbally and non-verbally
- Listen to understand, rather than to respond
- Provide empathy
- Ask questions when you do not understand
- Concentrate on what the person is saying
- Use “I” statements when responding and communicating
Barriers to Listening
- Moralizing or Judging
- Psychologizing or Psychoanalyzing.
- Taking Over.
- Going Off on Tangents.
- Mr. or Ms. Perfect
How to say no/or ask for what you need
- Use “I” statements instead of “You” -> Non offensive (see below for example)
- State how YOU feel about it (hurt, angry, etc.).
- Briefly state the specific event/situation & how it affects you.
- Say no respectfully or ask for what you need.
- State how this will also help the other person or the relationship.
- Make eye contact, stay calm.
- Be open to the other person’s perspective.
- Negotiate IF appropriate.
How to be Assertive
Practice using this formula:
“I feel________”(taking responsibility for one’s feelings)
“when you_____”(stating the behavior that it is a problems)
“because_____”(what it is about the behavior or its consequences that one objects to)
“I would appreciate it if you______”(offering a preferable solution)
Short Video Assertive Communication and Boundary Setting with Lindsey Gerard, LLMSW