Discussing Problems with Others
Communicating effectively where we feel heard can be a challenge. Below are some simple steps in assuring that you are saying what you mean in order to communicate and collaborate with the people around you.
- Plan and Practice beforehand.
- Select an appropriate time and place to talk.
- Be specific and descriptive. Give an example of what behaviours are troubling you.
- Use “I” statements and avoid accusatory “you” statements.
- Share your concerns as they come, if they are really important.
- Avoid name calling and derogatory comments.
- Make sure your non-verbal behaviours communicate your seriousness.
- Tell people that you still like and appreciate them’ if you do.
- Offer specific solutions, or suggestions.
- Support and validate behaviours you like.
- Be brief and to the point.
- Avoid getting caught up and sidetracked.
- Share any discomfort you feel in giving feedback.
- Remain firm when challenged, unless it is a lost cause.
- Focus on common interests.
- Make it worthwhile for people to change.
- Don’t expect people to change.
- Use concerns as opportunities to strengthen relationships.
Gambrill, Eileen and Richey, Cheryl. (1988) Taking Charge of Your Social Life.
Berkeley, CA. Behavioral Options Publishing. p. 195.