Thursday, June 19, 2008

Communicating your feelings.

Use “I Messages” to communicate with others when feelings are involved. They’re called I messages because the focus is on you and the message is about yourself. When using I messages, you take responsibility for your own feelings, rather than accusing the other person of making you feel a certain way.

There are four parts to an “I message.”

1. When .....
Describe the person’s behavior you’re reacting to in an objective, non-blameful and non-judgmental manner.

2. The effects are .....
Describe the concrete or tangible effects of that behavior. This helps the other person to understand your reaction.

3. I feel .....
Say how you feel. This helps to prevent a buildup of feelings.

4. I’d prefer .....
Tell the person what you'd prefer they do. (You can omit this part if it’s very obvious).

Then ask, "Have I explained that well?" (not “Did you understand that?”)

Here are a few examples:

"When you take company time for your personal affairs and then don’t have time to finish the urgent work I give you, I get furious. I want you to finish the company’s work before you work on your personal affairs."

"I lose my concentration when you come in unexpectedly to ask a question, and I don’t like it. Please don’t interrupt me when I’m working unless it’s really urgent."

"It’s very hard for me to keep our place neat and clean when you leave your clothes and other stuff laying around. It creates a lot more work for me and it takes a lot longer, and I get resentful about it. I want you to put your clothes away and put your trash in the basket."

Common Mistakes:

Not expressing a feeling at all, but expressing a belief or judgment.

Only expressing negative feelings.

The nonverbal body language contradicts what's being said. For example, smiling when irritated.

Conclusion tomorrow.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

So true. Thank you. That is a great reminder. I will be using some of these tools.