Guidelines for Being Better Understood

1. Seek first to understand. If you know your partner's frame of reference, you can speak to him/her within it.

2. Pay attention to how your words are landing. If your companion's response looks off the mark for what you said, check out what he/she is hearing....

3. Focus on the solution that would work for everyone, rather than who's right or wrong. Only focus on the problem long enough to understand, then switch to what will fix it.

4. Separate emotion from solution. If one or both of you are upset, irrational or reactive, you aren't communicating. Take a break and try again in a few minutes, when both of you have calmed down.

5. Don't beat dead horses. If you've been over the same ground several times with no forward movement, get some help. An objective third party can work wonders.

6. Be nice. Strive to create a cooperative atmosphere, and consider your partner’s feelings.

 
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