Communication : some simple lessons
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Seek Understanding and All Else Will Follow...
Communication has these main parts:

Why do you need to communicate?


What you need to communicate.  Information can be petty, dynamic, sensitive, earth shattering, strategic
timely, late, confrontive, emotional, neutral or have many other characteristics.


Most of the time, communication doesn't cause problems -- but -- we all know that there is another side
of the coin, when our emotions are involved.  ( Just look at the effects of road rage...)

How you transfer the content really matters.

Delivery can be gentle or harsh. 

It can be gently presented or you can hit someone with a '  2x4  ' right between the eyes, so to speak.
It can be presented with an emotion like love or anger or can be presented with no feelings at all. 
Take some time to review what you are going to say -- and its expected result.  Then figure out how best
to deliver it and get the response you are looking for.

Timing / Appropriate

Obvious, to most, but not everyone.  Is what  you are about to say appropriate?  Is this the right time to say
it?  We have all seen people speak and act inappropriately, and talk about or say things in front of other
people when it should be saved for a private moment, or in the right setting.  Something to think about                    before you speak in times of anger or frustration.  Sometimes ' holding your tongue ' at least until the
right moment is the best course of action. However -- there are times when you need to speak up.  This
will only come from experience.  But being aware of it gets  you halfway there.

What to watch out for...

In terms of reply, your delivery can be tricky, especially if you are mad, or caught off guard. 
Or... if you or someone else, has a pattern of behaviour based on a selfish, spoiled, or immature way of
delivering their point of view.  You could be verbally abused or insulted and not even know about it.

To better describe delivery let's explore the ' bad side '....
some examples...

Anger can be quite damaging.  We are all guilty on this one.  Best to seek understanding when you get
mad or if you are confused.  Try to give someone three strikes at the very least...

We have all encountered ' spoiled brats ' and the selfish way they deliver their message.  Content is mainly
anger, and a selfish motive.  Spoiled brats, don't care about anyone else's point of view.  They can be
very manipulative and can use emotional blackmail quite effectively to control other people.  The content
can be brutal and destructive.  Combine this with an angry and timely delivery ( like in a crowd of people )
and it an have quite an effect.  It is best to nip this behaviour in the bud by confronting both content and
delivery with this person.  In short, teach them to communicate in a more mature manner and let them know
this behaviour is unacceptable.   What they have to say may be important, but the delivery is unacceptable.

Another form of manipulation is threats.  These can be vieled or they can be right up front.  This is usually
coming from someone who's a little pyscho, or is very young and foolish, or in life, has not been held
accountable for what they are saying.  Again -- tricky -- best not to deal with people like this if at all

Emotional blackmail is a biggie.  This is a vieled threat -- and also needs to be addressed, otherwise,
the person using it, will continue to use it.  Again, tricky, but at some point, that person's cards need to
be called, or otherwise you or the recepient, of such behaviour, will continue to be intimidated into acting
in a manner desired by the person using the blackmail.  This almost always, has to do with personal
relationships and the threat of ending it or changing something or interfering in some way. 


What is the result of your communication?  What is the expectation? What are you 'after' ?  What response
are you expecting? Good to think about this if the information is sensitive.  Sometimes it's good to
' think twice ' before speaking. 

Being sensitive to the impact of what you are going to say allows you to modify your delivery.  You may
want to wait until the right time, and adjust the way in which you make your delivery.  

Defending Yourself... Verbal Self Defense...

Getting a verbal barrage from someone usually catches most people off guard.  The response and delivery you are getting may or may not be deserved and it is best to work through the situation and see if you can resolve it. 
Here are some tips, from a simple response to backing  out of the conversation all together that may help you deal with an uncomfortable situation and ' live another day '.

These are simple rules, and are a place to start.  You can modify them as needed.  Always try to avoid such situations if possible, but if you find you can't these will help you deal with it.

     If the situation is dangerous, get out of it as soon as possible.

The objective is to safely dis-engage your self from the person verbally abusing you or safely get away from them.


Imagine for a moment that someone is ' jumping on your case ' about something... and it is unexpected.
Try to use the ' point -- counter point ' approach instead of being completely ' dumbstruck ' .

An example

Your response, in order is as follows...

    ( the other person --> ) " %*&^*& this and $%(&(^% that.... "

    " Excuse me ...? " <-- a good response to start with.  Make them repeat what they are saying.  You can also
      use  " I beg your pardon ? " .

" %*&^*& this and $%(&(^% that.... "

    " Can you please repeat that ? "  < -- let them know you did not expect this response.

" %*&^*& this and $%(&(^% that.... "

    "  Can you explain what you are saying in detail and let me know why? I am being addressed in this manner?"

    If... it gets worse, remove yourself from the situation, either hang up or walk away.
    If... you are being insulted or abused, confront the person by saying

" %*&^*& this and $%(&(^% that.... "

    " I will not for another moment take this abuse or your insults or your sarcasm. " and get up and walk away or
       hang up... best to get out of the conversation all together.

   If ... you have to confront this person, then ask....

" %*&^*& this and $%(&(^% that.... "

   " Is this a 2 way conversation ? "

" %*&^*& this and $%(&(^% that.... "

   If ... you cannot get the other person's attention, then say...
   " This conversation is over.... "

   And... get away from this person as soon as safely possible.

Again, your objective is to be just enough smarter and in control, in order to get safely away from this person or
intelligently dis-engage from the conversation.

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Two very important questions:

Do  you really think
that other people
are going to care
about what you feel and think
if you don't care about what other people
feel and think ???

" Whether Fool, Financier or Accuser, treat all with respect. "

When was the last time that someone stopped and asked you...

1. ' What do you think ? ' and better yet..
2 . ' What do you feel  ? '

    Those two questions should let you know that the person asking has a raised level of consciousness and values the advice and cooperation of others.  They know that another person's position is important.  They know that what the other person has to say may raise their level of awareness

And just as important, it is an indication that the other person ' cares '.

Some Things to be Aware of:

In most cases...

Communication should be a 2 way street.  It should be a 2 way dialogue and a good discussion should center around point and counterpoint with all sides contributing to the discussion. 

Be aware !!! that the ability to actually 'Discuss' is an art form all its own and takes practice.   The objective is an exchange of information, and that can be challenging and sensitive info as well.  It can also be a brainstorming kind of session that involved analysis, conclusion and a plan of action.  The ability to discuss subjects, both mundane and sensitive is a very important skill to have.

Attack the issue, not the person.

Respect -- think twice before you speak in sensitive situations, better yet, ask questions. If you want people to respect you, then you need to learn to respect others

       It may be ok to get mad, but it's not ok to stay mad.  If you strike out at someone, be prepared for them
       to strike back !!!

       Hold yourself accountible for what  you say and you can then hold others accountable.

Responsibility -- don't blame others -- take responsibility for what you say.  Think about the impression you are making on others. No more game playing -- Grow Up !!

           No more tantrums
           No more stunts
           No more ' poor ' me 
           No more stomping your foot and saying ' well what about me me me me me me ??? '

Verbal Abuse -- we touched on that above in the 'dark side '.

Emotional Blackmail -- ' well if you don't... then I'm gonna ...'   Call their bluff -- otherwise, you take a hit on your

Insults -- Are never deserved -- learn to recognize when this is happening -- and address the person doing it.

Bullies -- need to be held accountable for what they say.  Stay away from people like this.  

Threats -- veiled or implied.   An ugly side of all of us.  We are all guilty of doing this.  Make a point not to do it,
even if you are mad enough to want to.  Avoid threats -- learn to communicate without them.

Agreement and perspective are rarely the same from person to person.  Learn to learn from others who have a different view and opinion.  Find out why -- you may just learn something !

Learn to communicate with others about your anxieties and you concerns.  But don't wait until you lose your temper.   Use the words ' anxieties ' and ' concerns ' when bringing up issues.  Other people have anxieties and concerns and issues... and they need to be expressed... and the sooner the better! 

Be more thankful and more gracious.

Practice makes Perfect!

copyright 2008 all rights reserved
Communicating effectively is very important.  By breaking it down into its main components we can better understand what is taking place when we attempt to transfer our knowledge or thoughts or emotions.  With the following, you are more aware of what is taking place and can better control the results, either ' to ' or ' from ' someone else.
"  We all need to realize that we are responsible for what we do and for what we say.

  We all need to personally hold ourselves accountable for both.

By doing so,  we need to be held accountable for the effect that our actions and our words,  have on others...  "
' Man ... don't you hate it when people don't signal ...!?!? '
Now that I'm Here What Do I Do...