What is skillful communication? We all have a general idea of whether we are communicating clearly or not. More often that not, it boils down to two things: saying what you mean and listening.
OK, so it isn’t quite that simple. It is also HOW we say what we mean. We can say it in a way that invites people to listen to us, or we can put people on the defensive. Using I statements can be very helpful, especially if you don’t put any blame into your I statement. For instance, it sounds very different if we say, “I am very concerned about people being tardy for work because I can see how it is effecting our bottom line,” versus, “I am concerned about you showing up for work late because you aren’t being respectful of me or anyone else.”
Using I statements without using the word “you” is a direct way to communicate, without putting someone on the defensive.
The other piece is listening. It helps to ask someone, for instance, why they have been struggling to get to work on time. Maybe there is a solution or at least a way to problem-solve in order to support this person. Maybe shaming them isn’t the best option.
We can get much more detailed about how to communicate skillfully and effectively. If you think this would be helpful for your work place, contact us today!