Do you ever feel like people just don’t listen?
Like you’re talking to a brick wall.
That what you say falls on ‘deaf ears’.
As if you’re talking another language.
When we feel misunderstood it’s easy to raise our voice in anger. To shout out, have a knee-jerk reaction and say something we didn’t actually mean. (We’ve all been there).
It’s in those moments that we might walk away wishing we had – or hadn’t – said something, and that can lead to anxiety. Before you know it, your mind is taking you (as I call it) down the plug hole. And it’s dark down there.
Eleanor Shakiba is a coach who introduces the WISH formula (there’s a video about it here). It describes how to make your point with some helpful starter phrases that can lead to healthier dialogue. Whether it’s at work or at home, assertive communication is in the building blocks of healthy relationships. So here’s some food for thought:
This week set the intention to Set The Tone. Decide what it is that needs to be said and if possible role play it with a friend. Create a list of assertive phrases to respond helpfully when people aren’t listening, using (for example) the WISH formula. You can say things like “When you do that, I feel like you’re not listening. So, How can we fix this?” And if you don’t agree with someone, start with “I see things differently”. If they are interested in why, they’ll ask you. If they’re not, ask yourself if their opinion really matters.
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©️ Delphi Ellis 2019