Effective Communication

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Based on 32 years of clinical counseling, I know what works to get people to communicate with you Even the most difficult person is able to be engaged: follow instructions!

Based on 32 years of clinical counseling, I know what works to get people to communicate with you Even the most difficult person is able to be engaged: follow instructions!

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  • 1. “Effective Communication” LifeServices Employee Assistance Program (EAP) “Personal Service, Every Time” Margie Roop, LPCC-S; CEAP; SAP, Regional Director 1-800-822-4847 or 330-329-3767
  • 2. Have you ever… Walked away from a conversation wondering…”what just happened?” Felt tense in your gut after you “thought” the issue was addressed? Felt on the defense in trying to confront an issue? Had someone say, “I think you’re taking things the wrong way?”
  • 3. Most people would admit that… Communication can sometimes be tough! Communication is often fraught with confusing emotions. Confronting an issue with someone sometimes resembles a two hour aerobic workout! They have had trouble “holding their ground” with another party. Communication is a lot harder than one thinks! They secretly wish that people would just be able to “read their minds”!
  • 4. Communication: Occurs all the timewhether we realize it or not! Is a vital facet of everyday life! Can become effortless by following a few guidelines.
  • 5. What makes someone appear difficult? They do not agree with our ideas? They demonstrate a “negative” attitude towards us? They criticize your ideas? They throw a “monkey wrench” into the process?
  • 6. Difficult People… Usually “poo-poo” ideas for change? Behave disrespectfully towards you? Feel they are always right? Distrustful of others in general? Always want to fight?!
  • 7. So, what exactly is Effective Communication? You feel that you were heard! You feel your needs were met (or at least a start). You don’t have that nagging “gut feeling” of unfinished business.
  • 8. You also feel…. Glad you brought up the issue. Affirmed in your feeling about the issue. Successful in convincing the other party of the importance of your issue!
  • 9. Effective Communication Boils down to your ability to convince another person of the importance of your issue or concern-THAT’S IT!! And, you can accomplish this EVEN with a “difficult” person! Hint: If you can do it with a teenager, you can do it with anybody….!
  • 10. So: REMAIN CALM! 1. Usually, however, it is in how we try to sell others on our idea that makes the “sale” break down; approach each personal encounter in a calm fashion-there is nothing worth upsetting yourself over….especially with a difficult person!
  • 11. Space Issues… 2. Respect each other’s personal space-a good two feet away from one another (watch that slice!).
  • 12. Body Language… 3. Use “open” body language such as an open stancearms uncrossed; it is critical to use good eye contact-be sincere and respectful.
  • 13. The old “I” statements… 4. State your concern using “I” statements”: “I’m upset over how you spoke to me about the Smith Company project yesterday.” “I really need your help-I’m a bit frustrated with how things went in the meeting an hour ago-it upset me when you told the team that…”
  • 14. Listen, listen, listen… 5. Allow the other party to respond…really listen to them. Use reflective listening ,i.e., if the person appears baffled by your statement, say so: “You look baffled by what I just said..tell me about that.” Or: “Help me understand where you are coming from?”
  • 15. Encourage responses… 6. It is important, even though you are initiating the conversation, to encourage the other person to respond, i.e., “OK, tell me more” or “Is there anything else you need to tell me?” This shows that you are not dominating the conversation.
  • 16. Stay in the “Here & now”….. 7. Remain in the present: “Right now, I feel uncomfortable as you are looking at me,” or “I’m unsure why, but I’m upset with how you just responded,” or “This doesn’t feel good for me.”
  • 17. Use the “Broken Record” method… 8. If the person doesn’t own their responsibility with the situation in question, use the “broken record” method of returning to your original concern: “I hear what you’re saying, however, I’m still upset by what you saidit really threw me off and made me feel like there’s some sort of miscommunication about the project.”
  • 18. Points to keep in mind: Assess your emotions prior to the encounter-are YOU being objective? Admit if there exists some type of personality conflict-this is a simple fact of life-put it aside or enlist the help of another party in the encounter. What’s YOUR stress level on that particular dayremember our “personal stuff” doesn’t simply “check-out” the moment we “check-in” to work!
  • 19. If you’ve given it “the ‘ol college try …and the person is STILL being difficult” It means the other person is not ready to truly listen to you; it’s THEIR problem! If you are their supervisor, consider referring them to the EAP for “Communication Coaching” Or formal discipline. If you are their co-worker; do not personalize THEIR problem with THEIR communication. Try again, if it’s worth your investment, then let it go. If THEIR reluctance to cooperate impinges on the success of a project, advise your supervisor of your DOCUMENTED attempts to effectively communicate with the person.
  • 20. Effective Communication How good are you at convincing another of the importance of your issue? If you experienced failed communication, which of the “Eight Steps” did you miss? Call LifeServices EAP for further consultation on Effective Communication! Check us out on: www.lifeserviceseap.com 1-800-822-4847
  • 21. Now go out and enjoy life(and, in the case of communication, keep you head….UP!)!