Be receiver oriented. Ask yourself what perceptions the listener might have, and adjust your message accordingly.
Use specific, concrete language. Concrete words frequently describe things that can be perceived by using one of the five senses or that can be described in behavioral terms.
Use non-judgmental language. Descriptive words stress observable, external, objective reality. They focus the receiver’s attention on the thing or action being described, rather than on personal reactions.
Stick to the facts. Statements of fact represent what is observed and cannot be made about the future. Inferences go beyond what is observed and can concern the past, the present, or the future. Facts have a high probability of accuracy; inferences represent only some modest degree of probability.
Be congruent in your verbal and non-verbal messages. In other words, “walk the talk.”
Respect personal space. Personal space is the bubble that surrounds a person. Generally speaking, Americans are most comfortable when others are at least an arm’s length, 3-4 feet away.
Respect turf. Territoriality refers to our “turf.” At work, a desk, a computer, and our stapler represent our turf.
Maintain eye contact. Eye contact encourages interaction by signaling that the communication channels are open and that the receiver is ready to listen.
Remember to listen first and talk second. Paraphrase what you’re heard, and reflect emotion. Ask open-ended questions to draw others out.
When conflict occurs, depersonalize it. Catch yourself when you begin to fall into the trap of believing that the other person is deliberately trying to make a situation difficult.
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