TIPS FOR HEALTHY COMMUNICATION
Speaking: Saying what you mean
Speaking with care enables people to understand and dialogue with your ideas.
Think Before You Speak
Your best wisdom is not far away. Look for it before you speak.
Your Voice and Body Communicate Volume, Tempo and Tone
Face and posture tell a lot. Think about the clues you are giving.
Stick to the Topic
Talk about the topic at hand rather than all of the other things that go through your mind.
Speak with the Person or Group
When you are in conversation, think about the person or group. Use their terms, speak to their context and respect their pace.
Say What You Intend
Speak for yourself. Use “I” rather than “we.” There are few substitutes for clarity. Clever phrases and cute cliches often obscure meaning.
Imagine the Results
How will others respond to what you have to say? Take it into account as you speak.
Listening: Hearing what others mean
Listening is about trust, respect, involvement and information more than it is about ears.
To others and to yourself. Work on stifling thevoices within. We can’t listen while talking.
Look, Act and Be Interested
Avoid reading, doodling, shuffling or tapping while others are speaking.
Resist the temptation to jump in before the other person has finished their statement.
Try to Get Inside the Other’s Perspective
Put yourself in the other person’s position. What would be your viewpoint?
Listen Between the Lines
Try to hear implicit as well as explicit meanings. Look for things unsaid or unexplained. Ask questions if you don’t understand.
Watch Body Language
Observe the nonverbal behaviour to glean more meaning beyond what is being said.
Asking: Interacting with intention
Questions are the vehicle that takes us to interaction and understanding.
Clarify What Has Been Said
“Could you clarify that a bit more?” “Could you say a bit more about that?”
Probe to Find Deeper Meaning
“Would you explain what leads you to that conclusion?” “What are the implications?”
Generate Non-linear, Creative Thinking
“Are there other possibilities?” “ Suppose we had no constraints?” “What if….?”
Promote Looking Below the Surface
“What are some of the underlying issues?” “Why is this important?”
“How have you experienced this?” “What are you feeling?” “What have we learned?”
Move Toward Action
“What are the next steps?” “What might we do differently next time?”
Created by Wayne Nelson and included in our Meetings that Work course.