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Elements of Health

L.I.F.E. Skills for Effective Communication

L = how we listen to people. This is about ACTIVE LISTENING where you refrain from stating your position and allow the other person to finish what they are saying. Don’t interrupt. Bite upon your tongue if necessary! Then reflect back your understanding of what they have just told you before you state your own opinion.

This has a hugely calming effect upon the other person in that they feel heard and understood and makes it much more likely that the conversation can proceed in a calm manner.

I = speak from your own position, from ‘I’, stating how ‘I’ feel about things, not complaining or blaming the other person. megaphone

For example, don’t blame the other person with comments like, “Do you always have to do that…you can’t be bothered…you are too selfish…you are a lazy so and so…”

Effective communication requires that you don’t criticise the other person or their behaviour but instead state how you feel about what they do.

For example, “I feel really upset when you ignore me.”

The golden rule is to prefix all of your statements with how you feel and to speak from your own perspective, from ‘I’.

F = the freedom to own your own problems. So often in life problems can be made worse by well meaning people moving in and assuming that, because a problem exists they should be the ones to solve it. People who have studied human psychology know that humans are problem-solvers and that we actually thrive when we have problems to solve. Problems can be seen as peoples ‘capital’; as developmental opportunities. Just because someone has a problem doesn’t mean you should steal it from them and try to solve it. People grow through learning how to overcome problems.

So, if a problem exists first ask yourself, “Is this problem mine and is it my responsibility to solve it?” If it isn’t then allow the person to whom the problem belongs to have a go at solving it. By all means, if people ask for your help then assist them the best you can.

E = everybody should be a winner. Learn to recognise that each person in the conversation/ conflict/ argument has a set of needs and that we should learn to be mindful of what those needs are and try to get them met. This means your needs and the other person’s needs. When needs are met everybody gets something out of the negotiation.

Jackie Richardson is a Family Therapist who believes that you can “change your mind, change your life and be happy”. She is a qualified Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, NLP Practitioner and Therapeutic Play Practitioner.

Jackie offers a FREE 15 minutes consultation to ‘feel out’ whether this could be the right therapy for you.

For more information on what she offers please call Elements of Health on 01603 666546 or call Jackie direct on 07771 620286 or visit www.jackierichardsontherapy.co.uk

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