2017 Resolution: Separating the Person from the Problem

26 Dec

New Year’s Eve is quickly approaching and it’s time to think about my resolution for 2017.

My goal for coming year is to improve my communication skills which are all so important in getting along better in this world.

My concept to work on is called ‘separating the person from the problem.’

Now what does this idea mean?

For starters, it means don’t attack someone when talking to them.

Now, you might be saying to yourself, there’s no way that I attack someone when I talk to them.  But it happens more often that you think.

Here’s an example.

communication tags, abstract vector art illustration

What if you label another person’s idea as  ‘dumb’ or ‘silly’ … well, that’s attacking them.  The net result is that person will immediately feel defensive and he/she will put up a wall that will hinder communication with them.

It will take the focus away from your message and cause that person to stop listening to you.

And it can happen in even more subtle ways.  What if your tone is delivered in a sarcastic or angry way? Or you take on an air of being instructional or a ‘know it all?’

Perhaps you don’t even say a word, but your body language says “I am placing little value on your idea” by shrugging your shoulders or turning away?

These are all examples of putting someone on the defensive, which will cause them to shut down your communication.

Please remember that we are all human and so, we are all prone to human reactions.  Try to think about the other person’s point of view.  That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them.

However, you and I will be a more effective communicators if we consider what the other person is feeling from our words and actions.

Wishing us all even better communication in 2017.



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