Use these six strategies to communicate effectively.
1) You can accept anything without agreeing with it. Thus, acknowledge amazing requests and outrageous statements with responses such as:
- “That’s an interesting idea.”
- “That’s a novel request.”
- “What an intriguing question.”
Use this as an opportunity to understand what the other person is saying. And then move on to other topics without attempting to argue.
2) People judge others by their actions. This means you are being judged by the perceptions you create with your words and actions. For example, if you act angry, even though you feel otherwise, you will be judged as being hostile. If you sound helpless, even though you feel otherwise, you will be judged as being ineffective. Thus, choose actions and words that convey the impression you want to make.
3) People judge themselves by their intentions. Thus, acknowledge that the other person’s actions or words are correct and proper (as seen by that other person). Even when someone’s behavior appears completely absurd, that person most likely believes it is justified.
4) Everyone deserves courtesy and respect. Diplomacy gains more than hostility. It is always the best way to begin a dialogue. After all, no one has ever had to apologize for being courteous. When you treat others with respect, you set the standard for how you want to be treated.
5) Everyone has valuable ideas. Everyone is an expert in some area. Everyone has unique talents. Effective leaders help other people excel at expressing their ideas. They ask questions. They show interest. They make the other person a star in their conversation.
6) Realize that you can always learn more about the other person’s needs, priorities, and situation. Ask questions. Seek solutions. Think positive. Quick reactions often lead to apologies. Start by being thoughtful and seeking to understand fully.