3 Unconscious Habits That Kill Effective Communicationby John M Reisinger
The strategies we attempt to use for effective communication are filtered through our habits. Take a look at the arguments and frustrations you experience everyday. For most of us, 98% of them habitually breakdown in the same places. The breakdown points are intersections of a perceived outside trigger and our unconscious habits to react the way we do (visualize the co-worker who annoys you, your spouse's embarrassing behaviors, and the constant complaining of your children for a clearer picture).
Most people never examine their habits when they're trying to resolve conflicts, triggered into frustration, or become upset over innocent comments. Our habits tend to run us, like we're on automatic pilot just reacting to whatever turbulence we encounter. Still worse, unexamined habits prevent effective communication because we unintentionally inflame them by using strategies not coherent with our habits.I call this Communication Frustration because that's often the result for everyone involved when the following 3 habits take over our conversations.
Habit # 1 - Moralistic Judging of Self and Others
The aim of this habit is to prove wrongness or badness with those who violate our values and desires. Moralistic judgments often has langauge like "They're selfish," "She's lazy," "He's jealous," "That's not smart," "I'm offended," "You're rude," "That's wrong," "They're bad people,""That's not right," "He's not a good person." More forms of judgments would be blaming, insulting, putting-down, labeling, criticizing, and diagnosing. Moralistic judgment is always about who IS what by categorizing people and their actions.
Habit #2 - Making Comparisons
Pointing out how someone is deficient or lacking in some way are the focal points when making comparisons. Other ways of making comparisons are "You always," "He could never," "She deserves better," "I'll do it myself," "You're not fair," "I'll never be like," "It wasn't meant to be." Making comparisons is very concerned with rationalizing who deserves what. Determined by what happens to us and those we care for.
Habit #3 - Denying Personal Responsibility
The aim of this habit is to persuade others we aren't responsible for our thoughts, feelings, and actions with obscure langauge that shifts our personal responsibility to other people. More forms of denying personal responsibility include phrases like "I have to," "You make me feel," "I need to," "It's not my fault," "I was told to," "I really should," "You know I can't," "That's not our policy," "The rules say." We deny personal responsibility when we assume a lack of choices for events and behaviors we want others to believe we were powerless to control.
Start observing your daily conversations for where these habits show up regularly. Where are they most frequent with your spouse, children, and co-workers? Where do you want others to take responsibility for your feelings? How often do you break commitments, expecting others to clean up? What company policies, rules, and managers do you blame for not being satisfied with your career? Focus on fixing the habits that no longer support your ambitions. Keep in mind there's nothing wrong with you. It's your habits and strategies that need your attention.
Need help identifying your habits? John Reisinger can help you learn remarkably (http://www.dosomethingremarkable.com/remarkable-communication) effective communication skills. Deepen your conversations with those you love and work with and experience (http://www.dosomethingremarkable.com/remarkable-living) Remarkable Living.