Honing Your Communication Skills, Part 2
- Monday, April 21, 2003
I want each of these meetings to be built on what I call the Rogerian format. You talk for 30 or 60 seconds, or they do, it doesn't matter who starts, and then the other person puts into their own words what they have heard the opposite person say. They labor at getting it right until the person who made the original comment says, that's right. That's it. You understand. And then the person who labored at understanding gets to speak for 30 or 60 or 90 seconds. Keep these comments relatively short. After which, the other person labors to fully understand.
What we know about great communication is that both people will feel deeply heard and understood and so we want to build that kind of format in which you begin to really understand another person. Now, what I have to tell you is that sometimes in these one-hour talks, more time is spent trying to understand what the person has said than in actually saying new things. Stay at it.
Once these meetings are over consider the results in your journal. Did you do a pretty good job at understanding what they said? Are you getting better at understanding the deep thoughts and feelings that another person projects? How did it feel when the other person accurately understood you, and how did it feel when they didn't accurately understand you?
4. At the end of 10 weeks, write a final report in your journal. I want you to assess where you think you have made progress and where you still need to work. I want you to ask yourself, "What do I still need to do to become a great communicator?" I want you to commit yourself to doing exactly what I've said in the next 10 weeks.
If you will make this effort for 70 days, I guarantee you will be a far better communicator. If you're a far better communicator, I guarantee every relationship you have will be a better relationship for you and if you're searching out the love of your life right now, let me encourage you. Get to be a better communicator and you will become maximally attractive to that other person. There is no other quality in a romantic relationship that so binds you together as the quality of good communication. You get to be good at communication and your relationships on the romantic level will become so much better. I promise.
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